British private equity firm Forward Dimension Capital (FDC) announced plans to invest US$15 million over the next 18 months in Digital Underground Media Inc, a media business focused on the digital out-of-home advertising industry. Vancouver-based Digital Underground manufactures and installs its own technology in underground and train tunnels to deliver video ad images to commuters. It said it will use the proceeds of FDC’s investment to advance global growth through initiatives in the areas of sales and marketing and product development. The company is led by President and CEO Ken Bicknell, who was previously a vice president at ENSIS Management, a Canadian venture capital firm.
Forward Dimension Capital targets global digital out-of-home growth with investment in Digital Underground Media
LONDON, 7 September 2015 — Forward Dimension Capital (“FDC”), the small to mid market private equity fund based in London, today announces a planned investment of US$15mn over the next 18 months in Digital Underground Media (“DU”) to support the digital out-of-home (DOOH) media company in their global expansion.
Based in Vancouver, Canada, DU manufactures and installs its own proprietary technology in underground and train tunnels, as well as operating as a digital out of home media company. It uses this technology hardware to deliver high quality video images to commuters and passengers in tunnels between stations, creating an ideal, high impact medium for advertisers to connect large, measurable consumer audiences and brands. At the same time, DU systems generate incremental revenue for metro and rail partners.
DU currently operates successfully in Sao Paulo, Brazil and is expanding globally. FDC’s investment will help fund this expansion, particularly in the areas of sales and marketing and technology development.
Commenting on the investment, Ken Bicknell, President and CEO of DU said: “We have put together the leading global experts in this field through partnerships and acquisitions, in Canada, South Korea, and Japan, which, coupled with the investment by FDC, enables us to accelerate the expansion of our proven media platform to meet growing demand. With FDC’s investment, we have added a strong group of experienced financial and operational experts to our team.”
Drew Craig, Chairman and founding shareholder of DU added: “From an early stage we recognised that DU technology had the potential to create a global media opportunity in the digital out of home space. With the successful installation of in-tunnel systems and acceptance of DU’s technology by large global advertisers the next step was to bring in outside capital. We have worked very well with Gavin and his team at FDC, since meeting them in 2014. They too recognised our global opportunity and together we can grow DU rapidly.”
Gavin Owston, a Partner at Forward Dimension Capital commented: “DU has so much potential and we are really pleased to be making this investment. There is a large global market opportunity where DU can be a differentiated leader. We like these kind of businesses. We have also been very impressed with the management team of Drew, Ken and Mike Laitinen (CFO). They are a highly complementary team whose experience in growing and leading complex businesses gives us additional confidence in delivering this growth.”
Gowlings advised Digital Underground Media on all legal aspects of the transaction and Forward Dimension Capital received legal advice from Norton Rose Fulbright, Toronto.
About Digital Underground Media
Digital Underground Media is a globally focused media company in the Digital Out of Home advertising sector. Through Metro concession agreements DU accesses subway tunnels to deploy proprietary technology on which it sells advertising media.
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