Cooler Screens (Somehow) Raises USD 80M

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

One of my favourite phrases when writing about private equity and venture capital is “a fool and his money are easily parted” and that phrase is seriously, not even enough with this latest announcement.

Cooler Screens has announced that it has raised more that $80M in Series C funding (TechCrunch was first to report the news).

This latest round comes from Verizon Ventures (who should know better), Microsoft M12, Great Point Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank. It brings the total amount raised by Cooler Screens to a whopping USD 100 million.

There’s nothing new with what they do, they replace the plain glass doors traditionally used on coolers (refrigerators or fridges) in stores with active electronic displays. STRATACACHE for example showcased its then newest product, PrimaSeeTM, a translucent display back in 2011.

Here though we’ve seen private equity folks not understand the dynamics of the out of home advertising industry and have got all excited with the “bright displays (that) not only show the products and prices of what’s inside the cooler, but can also change to become dynamic ad spaces”.

The company statement said “These ad spaces can highlight specific product or price promotions or literally act as a giant TV running a commercial”.

Cooler Screens also announced that it’s technology is up and running in 50 Walgreens across the Chicago area, with plans to roll out to 2,500 Walgreens locations across the U.S.

In a recent phone interview, John Clavadetscher, President and CCO of Cooler Screens told The Spoon that when Cooler Screens hits that 2,500 mark, its screens will have a viewing audience roughly the same size as the Super Bowl every month.

Umm, I’m not sure he understands how brands buy and sell advertising in-store, they haven’t got access to the big brands who traditionally buy through ad agency, media buyer. These are co-op deals, not big money.

We’ve seen a number of companies come and go over the past 10 years that tried a similar thing and I am sure this will go the same way.

2 Responses to “Cooler Screens (Somehow) Raises USD 80M”

  1. Grizzled Veteran Says:

    The comment “when Cooler Screens hits that 2,500 mark, its screens will have a viewing audience roughly the same size as the Super Bowl every month” brings to mind the old saw about those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. How often have we heard that Super Bowl comment amongst the flame outs in our industry? Seriously, 2500 of the best Walgreens do have a potential monthly shopper footfall of 100 million (just slightly higher than last year’s Super Bowl viewership). BUT at least half of those shopper transactions are pharmacy only. And how many that are left actually go to the coolers given the highly targeted trip mission in the drug channel? They have camera analytics, so if they are pitching this sort of mass viewing line to investors and prospective advertisers, they will absolutely fail.

  2. Equally Grizzled Says:

    A $10,000 LCD with bulky housing mounted behind a cooler door, all to display… wait for it…. the shelf set behind the screen! When the ads are playing, the customers can not tell what is behind the door. The best guess is that they are giving the equipment away in return for the ad revenue, as there is roughly a zero chance that Walgreens is spending a nickel. Do the math: 2,500 stores times 8 cooler doors times $10K equals $200M. Good luck with generating ROI on that. Grizzled Vet has it right, while you must walk by the coolers in many stores to get to the pharmacy window, you aren’t there for Red Bull. I will take April, 2022 in the Dead Pool.

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