Chicago based smartDIGITAL, announced that it has secured $2.7 million in Series A financing led by Advantage Capital Partners. Advantage Capital Partners, once a leader in New Orleans venture capital, has seen some New Orleans partners leave and its base of operations shift to St. Louis.
Metropolitan Capital Bank is also participating in the round. The recent funding has allowed the company to begin rebranding and introducing a new product line called Elevate Digital, which plans to complete the Series A round within the next 60 days.
smartDIGITAL already provides its interactive street-level technology in Chicago and Miami and hopes to expand into New York City and nine other markets over the next 36 months. The company designs outdoor kiosks and places them in high-traffic areas. It enables consumers to interact with advertising, view tourist information, make purchases through Groupon (a partner), and share photos. The product greatly increases engagement; instead of traditional marketing where consumers just look, now they can touch and interact.
CEO and founder George Burciaga said the “objective is to develop an interactive out-of-home platform that is national in scale yet locally targeted. Our software is the first to truly integrate rich media, messaging and advertising that controls the customer experience.”
The platform retains behavioral data and reports targeted consumer results and predictive analytics. All of the content is delivered in real time in a digital format, “enhancing the advertiser’s approach to impacting the consumer,” according to Burciaga.
Elevate Digital plans to include wall and glass displays for indoor and outdoor installations as well as the new product line titled Elevate wall and Elevate glass. As of now, the kiosks are typically operating for 6.5 hours per day and there are usually three people in front of a kiosk at any given time. There are currently 100 kiosks in Chicago alone, processing more than half a million interactions across the city each month.
“We are excited about providing growth capital to the Elevate product line and to a company that can transform street-level digital interaction for both consumers and advertisers,” said Mark Lewis, principal of Advantage Capital Partners. “Elevate Digital has the potent mix of a leadership team with years of industry experience and an innovative idea poised to shake up a static industry.”