Out-of-home (OOH) advertising start-up, OneScreen.AI closed a pre-seed funding deal worth $1 million. The investment was led by Panama City Beach, Fla.-based TechFarms Capital with participation by HubSpot co-founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, HubSpot CMO Kipp Bodnar, Wayfair's alumni fund (Wayfund), Lola.com CEO, Mike Volpe, BuySellAds.com CEO Todd Garland and HappyNest CRO Jeanne Hopkins. Several OneScreen.ai customers also became investors.
OOH advertising includes items like connected TV (Connected TV includes any items that can be connected to the internet and delivers streaming video or images to viewers. Connected TV is considered a subset of over-the-top (OTT) which includes free apps and services), billboards, events sponsorships and bus advertising.
OneScreen is trying to solve one of the OOH advertising industries biggest issues. The current state of OOH leaves nearly half of the industry inventory unused, primarily due to the chaos and care involved in getting the buying and selling side of OOH ad networks right. According to the press release, 94% of the inventory sold on OOH Networks is done manually via fax machines and spreadsheets.
In spite of the evident friction, the industry continues to grow according to OneScreen.ai CEO Sam Mallikarjunan, "I wasn't surprised to find out-of-home advertising was broken; I was surprised to discover that it's still growing anyways. In fact, it's the only offline ad medium that's still growing. While TV, radio and print advertising have all been dying, OOH has doubled in the past 20 years."
OneScreen's goal is to create the kind of network that Google and Facebook offer online to their customers. "Sam and his team [At OneScreen] have identified a huge dilemma plaguing out-of-home advertising, and they are uniquely qualified to solve the problem in an industry ripe for innovation," said Steve Millaway, managing director of TechFarms Capital.