Is Rishi Shah The First Billionaire In Digital Signage?

June 5, 2017 by Dave Haynes

I don’t think there’s all that many people who could say they’ve become millionaires out of their digital signage businesses, so it’s kind of amazing to read a Forbes magazine profile of Outcome Health’s Rishi Shah – which pegs his net worth at $3.6 billion.

If you are scratching your head a bit and muttering “Who?”-  Outcome Health is the newer handle for a Chicago company that operated for many years as Context Media. It is, by almost any measure, the most successful company operating in the digital OOH space. It has been successful because from the start it focused on clinics serving specific conditions – like diabetes – and tapped the very deep marketing pockets of big pharma. Where other OOK networks were seeing single digit CPMs, Context/Outcome was getting triple-digit.

Says Forbes:

The source of his $3.6-billion estimated net worth: his 80% stake in his startup Outcome Health, which places iPad-like tablets and large-format touch screens in doctor’s waiting rooms and offices. This morning, Outcome says it is raising just under $600 million from august names like Goldman Sachs, the Google-affiliated CapitalG, Pritzker Group, and dozens of strategic healthcare investors at a stunning $5.6 billion valuation.

Shah’s billionaire status, like that of many young peers, is tied up entirely in his company. It’s not liquid, and could evaporate overnight. Another thing he has in common with other high-flying “unicorns”: a venture capital market that is willing to designate company valuations that investors in the stock market might not tolerate.

The company did about $200 million in ad sales last year and is in about 40,000 waiting rooms, that number greatly boosted when it acquired rival Accent Health.

I have known Rishi for several years, and he’s been at several DSE Mixers. VERY nice, positive guy. But not so good at returning emails – RISHI, I’ve wanted to do a podcast session with you for about a year now! Gimme 40 minutes, please and thanks.

Important note to waiting room media people: This does not mean your network is poised for riches. The Outcome people had a formula and worked it hard to get to where they are, and probably the biggest key was having a very small set of ad targets (big pharma) instead of going the more general agency/media planning route.

Another note: Chris Rigel of Stratacache may well be the first – given his company does about $600 million in sales, and he’s the sole owner.

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