Matchbin Becomes Radiate Media; Focuses on Ad Network and Services
Matchbin has spent $10 million to acquire 800 radio and TV accounts from Navteq’s Radio and TV Group (formely Traffic.com). It has also raised $12 million for working assets from Silicon Valley Bank, and is rebranding the combined entity as Radiate Media. The money to acquire the Navteq broadcaster accounts came from Level Equity, Greycroft Partners and vSpring Capital.
The company will have dual headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania, and Salt Lake City, with additional offices in several media capitals. Radiate Media CEO Chris Rothey will now assume the same title for the combined entity, while Matchbin CEO Hal Widlansky becomes president and COO.
Matchbin has been one of many vendors vying for local media partners to build an ad network and provide online services such as directories and SEO. It has been competing with the likes of CityGrid Media, Local.com, Datasphere, Local Thunder, Planet Discover, Triton Online Services, MediaSpan, Ellington, ShopCity and others. The challenge has been to differentiate itself from the pack. One way has been to assert itself as a cutting-edge technology provider. Along these lines, it has focused on such things as providing mobile apps and iPad specific services.
The purchase of the Navteq broadcast accounts is a bolder move. It includes the accounts that had been grandfathered from Navteq’s $210 million purchase of Traffic.com in 2007, but never deeply integrated into the main business of providing map and data content to mobile carriers.
The new accounts will be added to Matchbin’s 1,300 existing media accounts, which are mainly newspaper and local news media. They now put Matchbin in 49 of the Top 50 markets, reaching 50 percent of U.S. households. Previously, Matchbin’s largest market was Orange County, California, via The OC Register. More typical markets were Marietta, Georgia, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. The company also reports having a base of 6,000 advertisers.
Widlansky told us he likes the new positioning because it creates a network of 4,000 ad spots a day on the network. He also noted that the former Navteq properties will provide near-term cash flow, accounting for roughly 75 percent of the company’s revenues. Over time, however, he anticipates that the provision of online services from a variety of players will even things out. Much of the growth of the new company will come from the digital side of the business.
Mobile also figures largely in the company’s plans, added Widlansky, especially with HTML 5 changing the mobile dynamic away from apps.