Nigerian digital advertising startup S&T Media has raised a US$1 million seed funding round from EchoVC Partners, to scale the startup’s petrol pump-oriented advertising solutions AdPump.
S&T claims AdPump is the only digital advertising network in Africa to target consumers at petrol pumps. Launched in 2014, the team installs digital media screens at petrol filling stations, and programmes them with advertising-supported content which is viewed at the pumps by consumers.
The startup recently concluded a trial of the solution at 160 screens across Lagos in 17 strategically located filling stations; while it says it has also secured the sole distribution rights for 22 inch in-pump digital screens in Africa.
EchoVC has committed up to US$1 million to enable S&T to expand AdPump through product development, hardware acquisition, and hiring new staff.
“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,” said Tolu Roberts, S&T co-founder.
“With EchoVC on board, we have found more than just an investor but also a partner who understands effective growth of tech startups. We are confident that we can penetrate the advertising market with our innovative platforms whilst leveraging on EchoVC’s strategic partnerships.”
S&T has already signed 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; and it has agreed exclusive distribution deals with a number of Nigeria’s filling station companies, including Oando, Forte Oil, and Total, 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.
EchoVC said it was moved to invest in S&T by the speed with which the startup has developed its unique advertising solution and secured key partnerships.
“We were impressed with S&T Media’s ingenuity in developing new routes to market for advertisers in Africa, namely via location-based digital,” said Eghosa Omoigui from EchoVC Partners.
“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.”
S&T Media is also looking to make digital advertising accessible to Nigeria’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs), through an online media purchasing tool for those with lower ad-spend budgets.
SMEs will be able to pick and choose which locations they would like to advertise across AdPump’s network of screens, directly via the AdPump website.
Roberts says this will empower SME owners to make the most of their limited advertising budgets and have heightened control over their marketing messages.