Media firm secures £400k funding for expansion

Paul Humphray, left, and Mike Smith

MSIF has invested £400,000 in OPEN Outdoor Media, a Liverpool-based digital out-of-home advertising business.

The investment originates from MSIF’s North-West Business Growth Fund, which is supported by the British Business Bank.

OPEN Outdoor Media is a digital out-of-home advertising business, using advertising to create a strong physical presence and enrich the urban environment.

The business utilises the extensive reach of outdoor advertising in order to maximise clients’ exposure.

It was established in 2014, and was originally called OPEN Taxi Top.

MSIF have previously supported the business, with an £80,000 loan to OPEN Taxi Top – at the time the business was installing dual-sided digital advertising screens on top of Hackney Cabs.

Managing director Mike Smith identified city centre premium banner sites as being of much more interest to businesses.

OPEN Outdoor Media went on to secure a temporary site on the old ABC cinema, opposite the Liverpool Lime Street rail station, which proved to be extremely popular with companies including Jaguar Land Rover, JD Sports and SKY renting the advertising space.

The company operates two premium digital displays in Liverpool city centre, both of which are extremely popular with clients, due to the location, visibility and impact.

The business has also recently secured two new spaces for digital screens, one opposite Old Trafford football ground and another on Olympic Way, Wembley, in London.

The opportunities to advertise in areas like these are lucrative and are very rarely available – great for business growth of any industry.

Each digital screen is custom-made for each location to optimise the available space at each site.

The £400,000 funding was required as part of a funding round to pay for the creation of four new digital screens to fit the two newly-acquired sites.

Mike Smith said: “I am super proud of what OPEN has achieved in the last 12 months and to add these two premium locations to our portfolio is very exciting.

“Our strategy is to concentrate on the quality of location over quantity. Our goal is to be in every key city in the UK by 2020, and by having the support of MSIF and the best team around me I am certain that this goal is achievable.”

Paul Humphray, MSIF investment director, said: “I’m really happy MSIF were able to support OPEN Outdoor Media.
“It’s great to see how the business has evolved to suit the clients’ demands, and how Mike was able to change the business strategy to suit their needs.

“The static sites have proved to be a great success so far, and the two new screens – in such prime locations – should only boost the strong demand the business is currently receiving.”

The British Business Bank is the UK Government’s economic development bank.

Its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.

The Bank is currently supporting more than £5.5bn of finance to in excess of 78,000 smaller businesses, as at end of June, 2018.