Nigeria-based S&T Media has closed on seed financing from early-stage technology venture capital firm, EchoVCPartners, who have committed up to $1m for the company. The official announcement comes in the same week as the company has secured exclusive retail deals with international outlet Spar and Spanish-based CityDia, to install their latest innovation, AdEdge, an in-store digital advertising screen that installs screens on the aisle shelves to bring commercials to the point of purchase.
S&T’s AdPump, the only digital advertising network in Africa to target consumers at petrol pumps, has raised seed financing that will be invested in expansion, product development, hardware and staff acquisition. The investment was secured after AdPump’s successful pilot to launch and install 160 screens across Lagos in 17 strategically located filling stations.
S&T Media has since signed exclusive distribution deals with a number of Nigeria’s filling station companies, including Oando Plc, Forte Oil and Total Plc. totalling 1,000 stations across the country. The company has also signed up key advertising partners including Etisalat, Jumia, Smile Communications, House on the Rock, GT Bank and Mall for Africa.
Tolu Roberts, S&T co-founder 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.
“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.”
Launched in 2014, AdPump has secured the sole distribution rights for 22in in-pump digital screens in Africa. The team installs the digital media screens in filling stations and programmes them with advertising-supported content which is viewed at the pumps. Thanks to content deals with some of Nigeria’s largest broadcasters, including Channels TV, HipTV and Pulse.Ng, to show the latest news, sports and entertainment news, AdPump screens have already recorded over eight million audited views, with each location recording 60,000+ visitors per month and each visitor spending an average of 4-6 minutes at the station, up to 4 times a month.
Eghosa Omoigui from EchoVC Partners adds: “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.”
Having secured advertising partnerships with some of Nigeria’s biggest brands, S&T Media are also looking to open the digital advertising space up to the country’s millions of SMEs and are rolling out an online media purchasing tool for those with more conservative ad-spend budgets. Roberts adds, "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."
Nigeria’s advertising spend currently stands at about N100b ($500m) a year, and according to PWC, is the fastest growing market in the world, boasting 15.1% CAGR.