Place Exchange Closes $20 Million in Venture Funding

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Place Exchange, fast becoming the leading supply-side platform (SSP) for programmatic out-of-home (OOH) and place-based media, has announced the close of a $20 million Series A funding round. The investment was co-led by Revolution Ventures and Tribe Capital. The company will use the funding to broaden its product offerings, expand into new markets, and grow its team.

OOH advertising was the fastest-growing traditional advertising channel before the pandemic and is projected to grow more than any other major channel in 2021. That growth has been driven largely by digitization of the medium, which has in turn opened the door to programmatic activation. Place Exchange has been at the forefront of that transformation, enabling OOH to be seamlessly planned, bought, optimized, and measured within omnichannel demand-side platforms (DSPs) alongside online, mobile, and other digital media.

Ari Buchalter, (now) CEO of Place Exchange told us “Place Exchange was founded on the vision of making the OOH channel truly programmatic, with the same workflows, targeting, and measurement capabilities as other programmatic media,” said “Our unique, patented approach stands apart from other platforms in the industry that treat the OOH channel as a silo and lack many key programmatic capabilities critical to omnichannel buyers. Breaking that silo has been the key to opening up demand, and the vast majority of our growth has been driven by programmatic buyers that have never purchased OOH before.”

Despite the pandemic, Place Exchange grew substantially last year and is on track for mid triple-digit growth in 2021. Three key drivers are propelling its business forward:

  • With its unique programmatic vision, flexible and transparent platform, and industry- leading network of premium display and video OOH supply, Place Exchange has activated a critical mass of omnichannel DSPs investing in the OOH channel and buying at scale, creating significant new demand for OOH media.
  • The pandemic highlighted to its demand partners the unique benefits of buying OOH programmatically through Place Exchange’s SSP, offering far more flexibility, automation, insight, and measurability vs. alternatives.
  • Place Exchange has seen a general flight to quality towards the OOH channel, offering its demand partners massive reach, high-impact contextually relevant messaging in the real world, and unmatched consumer engagement – all while enabling DSP targeting and measurement capabilities on par with other digital channels, but without the bot fraud, viewability, and brand safety issues that have plagued online, mobile, social, CTV, and other media.

Tige Savage, Managing Partner at Revolution Ventures said “Digital Out-of-Home is likely to follow the same trend we’ve seen in virtually every other category of advertising – a shift from separate media buys through siloed channels with limited analytics, to larger programmatic buys through online exchanges where attribution is table- stakes. Place Exchange is on the cutting edge of that shift, driving programmatic adoption in the Out-of-Home category. This is a Series A investment with a Series D management team and we couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Ari and the team.”

Initially incubated within former parent company Intersection, Place Exchange has always focused on programmatic growth of the entire OOH category. This investment completes the spinout of Place Exchange into a completely separate, standalone entity focused on that objective. Ari Buchalter, who was formerly the CEO of both Place Exchange and Intersection, is now exclusively the CEO of Place Exchange. As part of the investment, Tige Savage and Ted Maidenberg, Co-founder and General Partner at Tribe Capital will be joining the Board of Directors of Place Exchange.

Revolution Ventures is Revolution’s institutionally-backed early stage fund investing in companies around the country that are attacking large, multi-billion dollar categories. Co-founders Steve Case and Investment Partners Tige Savage, David Golden, and Clara Sieg work with companies that meet their disciplined criteria and form true partnerships with founders to help them build market-leading businesses. Revolution Ventures is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and part of Revolution’s family of funds including Revolution Growth and the Rise of the Rest Seed Funds.

Tribe Capital is a team of Silicon Valley technologists and engineers who harness data science and leverage hands-on operating experience to accomplish two goals: to identify the most significant companies of our generation, and to generate outsized returns by driving growth at each inflection point. The firm has approximately $1.35 billion in assets under management and has made notable investments in Bolt, Carta, Front, Instabase, Kraken, Momentus, and Relativity Space.

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