Money still being raised out there …

September 30, 2008 by Dave Haynes

Well I suspect the general statement at the close of business yesterday was something like, “Holy crap!”

Lost in all that was a couple of interesting pieces of news.

It took some undoubtedly hard work, but EnQii CEO Ajay Chowdhury managed to close and announce yesterday a raise of $18 million for the company, part of it to bulk up and part to do some acquisitions in what will be a market ripe for such in the next little bit, one might expect.

The VC money comes out of Europe and follows on an investment about a year and change ago by a Persian Gulf interest.


Amadeus Capital Partners and Wellington Partners have invested $18 million in a Series B round financing in EnQii Holdings Ltd, a global leader in the management of digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising and merchandising networks.  Roy Merritt, Partner at Amadeus, and Wellington General Partner, Frank Boehnke, will join the board of the company. The investors will join Ithmaar Bank, Kingdom of Bahrain, EnQii’s original investor. Carolyn Prowse, Managing Director, from Ithmaar Bank will also join the board.


The new financing, says a press release, will be used to accelerate the company’s growth. 


Advertising spend on out-of-home sites is currently some $1.7 billion globally, with the digital segment, which is proven to drive sales faster than traditional advertising, growing at some 40% per annum. 


EnQii CEO, Ajay Chowdhury, says: “We see fantastic growth opportunities in digital out-of-home advertising and are very happy to see this significant commitment from two of Europe’s leading VCs that will help us take full advantage of these opportunities. While we have had very strong organic growth over the last year, this level of investment and the quality of the investors gives us the additional capacity to be more agressive in both opportunity development and in serving our customers’ needs. The roll-out of digital screens at places of interest has just begun, and EnQii has the capability, from our offices in New York, Toronto, London, Hong Kong and Shanghai, to manage this.” 


And Montreal company Pixman Nomadic Media announced a raise of more than $7 million to grow its business in people walking around with screens hovering over their heads, with the player and battery strapped on thewir backs.

I’ve always considered these things a bit of a novelty that would quickly have their day, but the company is apparently doing well and marketers and event organizers like the idea of taking a digital message where it needs to be, rather than fixing it and hoping people come to the screens.

Reports Media in Canada:

Montreal-based Pixman Nomadic Media recently raised investment capital of over $7 million through private placements, including Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, and acquired Pixnet shares and an exclusive property license for the development of interactive applications.

With the addition of Montreal-HQ’d Pixnet, which specializes in networking technologies, Pixman will have access to increased digital signage and mobile advertising creative options available on its experiential street marketing units.

One of the investors is the Quebec government pension fund. The Pixnet acquisition means Pixman picks up the software for a Montreal company that has been around the space for a decade or so and has driven a few screen networks, such as the DAN food court network that turned into Neo.


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