Out of home operator Exterion Media is expanding its EM Ventures with the launch of a Media for Equity programme offering start-ups outdoor advertising space and other services in return for an equity share. The new programme is an extension of its EM Ventures which has already worked with 30 companies including Squadron Venture Media, TransferWise and Treatwell.
Exterion CEO Shaun Gregory says: “A primary growth challenge for any fledgling company is building market awareness to not only accelerate customer take-up, but raise its profile amongst investors. We provide access to London’s 1.3 billion annual Tube passengers and 5.2 billion bus passenger journeys in the UK each year, offering unparalleled audience exposure to start-ups – just as EM Ventures has done for more than 30 businesses to date.
“Exterion Media is able to pioneer this model in the UK due to the success of the EM Ventures team in forging innovative, win-win partnerships with exciting new companies in their critical growth stage. It’s hugely rewarding to help growing enterprises realise their potential by sharing our insights and display network, and providing vital exposure that is normally out of reach for companies of this size.
“At the same time, we see significant potential to take a whole new approach to generating revenue from previously untapped streams and make the Out-of-Home model more efficient. It’s a more sophisticated alternative to the way advertising has traditionally been bought and sold; one where the media owner has a direct stake in the success of clients.”
Which all sounds very enterprising. It’s a pity, in a way, that Exterion is focussing on ‘exit-driven’ business but it needs to get its money back. One of the problems with tech businesses in the UK is that they get gobbled up as soon as they make – or look like they’re going to make – money. But the same can be said of many UK businesses, not least new ad agencies.