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Nigeria-based digital advertising agency S&T Media has closed on seed financing from early-stage technology venture capital firm EchoVC Partners.
The $1m capital will be invested in expansion, product development, hardware acquisition and staff for S&T’s AdPump – the only digital advertising network in Africa to target consumers at petrol stations.
S&T co-founder, Tolu Roberts says: ‘Since inception , we wanted to create platforms that can give brands the location-based reach they crave in a more efficient and targeted manner. Securing institutional funding with the right investor has allowed us to accelerate that vision, as we rapidly develop and install platforms that connect brands with digitally-captivated consumers.’
Prior to receiving investment, AdPump ran a successful pilot securing the launch and installation of 160 filling station screens across Lagos. S&T Media, Adpump’s parent company, has since signed exclusive distribution deals with companies including Oando Plc, Forte Oil and Total Plc, increasing their presence to 1,000 stations across Nigeria.
In addition, the company has signed deals with prominent advertising partners such as Etisalat, Jumia, Smile Communications, House on the Rock, GT Bank and Mall for Africa, as well as some of Nigeria’s largest broadcasters, including Channels TV, HipTV and Pulse.Ng.
Eghosa Omoigui from EchoVC Partners said: ‘We were impressed with S&T Media’s ingenuity in developing new routes to market for advertisers in Africa, namely via location-based digital.
‘The velocity at which they’ve built a for-Africa product, attracted content suppliers, key advertising partnerships as well as a distribution network with such notable brands, is a combination of their excellent product, as well as the market’s willingness to use targeted marketing methods to reach their end user. The customer feedback has been fantastic and reflects the platform’s ability to consistently resonate with advertisers and consumers alike.’
Nigeria’s advertising spend is an estimated N100b ($500m) a year and, according to PWC, is the fastest growing market in the world. Subsequently, S&T Media plans to make its digital advertising space more accessible to the country’s millions of SMEs, by rolling out an online media purchasing tool for those with smaller ad-spend budgets.
Roberts says: ‘With this innovative tool, SMEs will be able to pick and choose which locations they would like to advertise across our network of screens, either at the pump and at retail stores, directly from our website. This empowers small business owners, who have limited advertising budgets, to have more control over their marketing messages. This is also a first in Africa.’
He concludes: ‘With EchoVC on board, we have found more than just an investor but also a partner who understands effective growth of tech start-ups.
‘We are confident that we can penetrate the advertising market with our innovative platforms whilst leveraging on EchoVC’s strategic partnerships.’