Burr Smith has for several years – pre and post a period in Chapter 11 – been the primary investor in the Montreal-based software firm BroadSign, and he is now fully in charge not only of the budget but overall operations, having been named the company’s new Chairman and CEO.
Brian Dusho is now the company’s Vice Chairman – and it is not clear what that means in terms of what he does day to day for the company. In the company statement, it quotes Dusho as saying he will “look forward to further developing other key initiatives that will assist in driving the value and market share of BroadSign.”
Which means … something.
Smith has long been President of BroadSign’s main shareholder, Jedfam. The announcement comes at a time when BroadSign is announcing it has secured a line of credit (figures not announced) from Silicon Valley Bank.
“As BroadSign plans to take on new initiatives in this period of unprecedented growth, I believe it is time to fully invest my attention into the company,” says Smith. “I am proud that the structural and financial foundation of BroadSign has enabled the corporation to raise capital solely on the power of its earnings. The business has reached a point where it can stand on its own two feet; debt-free, profitable and well-financed for future endeavours.”
“I am excited that the accomplishments realized during my tenure as CEO have led the company to this momentous deal,” adds Dusho.
For a company that 2.5 years ago had to enter Chapter 11 and hang on to staff despite paydays that didn’t happen, the company has come a way long way back. BroadSign now has more 67,000 active player subscriptions (That’s more than 4X what it was when I was there in 2007-9) and more than 200 digital signage networks running its cloud-based platform in over 35 countries.
Its Android-based smart player, BroadSign Xpress, has sold over 6,500 units since made available to the market in September 2013. That may be more than all the the other Android options out there, combined, a I have rarely heard from companies saying the market interest in Android has been reflected in actual sales.
Dusho deserves a pile of credit, as do guys like Dan Parisien and Bryan Mongeau, for pulling them through and out of a pretty dark and dodgy period.
“BroadSign is now in the position where it can grow its current portfolio by taking advantage of an increasing amount of opportunities,” says Jean Beaudry, COO at BroadSign. “As such, we are grateful for Silicon Valley Bank’s confidence in the strength of BroadSign’s operations.”
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.