The company says that Columbia Capital , a venture capital firm specializing in communications, media, and technology investments, and Mission Ventures  are planning larger capital commitments for the digital out-of-home advertising network leading to continued expansion and industry consolidation.
The digital place-based media category announced it has raised a significant round of Series C financing, led by Columbia Capital, which joins previous investor Mission Ventures. This represents a first step in a larger commitment expected by Columbia Capital to further increase Access 360’s footprint in the digital out-of-home media industry through acquisition, new hires and organic growth.
“Since acquiring Arena Media Networks in early 2010, our new combined platform – encompassing both in-mall and in-arena networks – has paid off tremendously and we are thrilled with the progress the company is making,” says Art Williams, CEO, Access 360 Media. “We are very excited to attract an experienced growth investor like Columbia Capital as we continue down the path of expanding our network organically and exploring acquisition opportunities. The digital out-of-home industry is heading for a period of consolidation, and Access 360 is extremely well positioned now to be a leader and major force in the sector, given our strong organic growth rate and improved capital base.”
“We believe digital out-of-home and place-based media provides an increasingly attractive value proposition for advertisers,” says Jeff Patterson, Columbia Capital partner. “As audiences get more difficult to reach in traditional media as a result of increased DVR penetration and fragmentation across so many TV channels, we think advertisers will look for ways to interact with their customers on digital platforms outside the home. Shopping malls and sports stadiums are superb venues where advertisers can take advantage of targeted, rich media advertising with consumers while they are relaxed and receptive to brand messages or close to making purchase decisions.
“We believe the digital-out-of-home sector is a huge opportunity area for investment. Art (Williams) has built the right team of experienced executives at Access 360, and we have tremendous confidence in their ability to be at the forefront of the category. “
David Ryan, Mission Ventures’ managing partner, says, “Access360 Media’s truly capital-efficient business model and proven track record of making the right business decisions make it an ideal partner for us. We look forward to continued success with the Access 360 team.”
In April, 2010, Access 360 completed the acquisition of Arena Media Networks, creating two distinct but complementary networks:
- Mallvision is an exclusive partnership with retail developers such as the Simon Property Group, Inc. to program screens in shopping malls across the country’s most desired DMAs;
- AMNtv, the newly acquired Arena Media Networks digital network, is the nation’s largest unwired sports and entertainment TV network, providing brands access to more than 100 million passionate fans attending sporting events, concerts and family entertainment events annually.
Access 360 networks are currently available nationwide on over 20,000 screens in approximately 100 locations, with the potential to reach more than 54 million viewers each month.
MESA Global ’s Michael Josephs acted as Access 360 Media’s investment banker in the transaction.
Founded in 1989, Columbia Capital has helped establish more than 100 early stage ventures and currently manages more than $2 billion in capital.
Mission Ventures, founded in 1996, now has over $500 million under management, largely helping build successful enterprises in Southern California.