NASHVILLE, Tenn. and CHICAGO, Aug. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Advertising technology innovator EDO Interactive (EDO) today announced that it has secured a Series B financing to fuel the growth of Prewards®, EDO's flagship digital deals and incentives platform. The financing was co-led by Baird Venture Partners and VantagePoint Capital Partners and included participation from EDO's existing investors. The company will use the proceeds to accelerate the deployment of digital incentives to a large and growing base of consumers.
Prewards® enables advertisers to offer digital deals and incentives that consumers can redeem by using their existing credit, debit or prepaid cards from participating financial institutions. To date, EDO has signed contractual arrangements with financial institutions having an aggregate reach of over 100 million cardholders.
"Prewards® is an exciting product that is transforming the way consumers redeem advertiser deals and incentives, as well as the way advertisers are offering them," said Ed Braswell, EDO's chief executive officer. "This round of capital will allow EDO to accelerate its acquisition of key merchant customers and introduce the platform to publishers as a value add to their audiences."
Unlike the first generation of digital coupon/daily deal providers, the offers from EDO are based on advanced analytics and so are hyper-targeted and more relevant and meaningful to the consumer. There is no payment in advance for the consumer, no need to present a coupon or code at the time of purchase and no point of sale hassle for the merchant. For the advertiser, Prewards open up a cost effective channel to provide customized relevant offers that address a number of marketing goals, from loyalty and repeat business to new customer acquisition and share shift.
Prewards works by alerting consumers to offers via web portal and their choice of email, SMS text or mobile application, prompting them to purchase. Once they do, savings are immediately deposited back into their account, whereas competing providers require consumers to wait up to 45-days before redeposit. Consumers holding cards from financial institutions across the United States already have redeemed Prewards® from top brands such as Sur La Table, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, PetSmart, Subway, Kroger and Dick's Sporting Goods. To date, EDO has experienced redemption rates that are significantly exceeding those achieved by less targeted programs. Additionally, EDO programs have driven impressive jumps in average order per store visit.
BVP partner Benedict Rocchio said, "This investment will allow EDO to more fully leverage its competitive advantages: a truly unique, superior technology platform and seasoned management with tremendous expertise and industry connections. We focus on investing in the best financial technology companies, and EDO represents one of the most exciting investments we have made in this sector."
"Prewards by EDO represent a major breakthrough in digital coupon solutions, " said Tom Bevilacqua, Managing Director at VantagePoint Capital Partners. "Consumers receive highly targeted offers and, because they are linked to their credit/debit card, they do not need to pay for them in advance. Thanks to EDO's targeting ability, marketers can transform digital coupons from loss leaders to a positive return on investment."
A strategic use of the proceeds will be to hire additional talent, including in the key areas of sales, technology and analytics. Team expansion will occur in both the headquarters in Nashville as well as in its growing office in Chicago.
"EDO Interactive has rapidly become a strong member of the Chicago entrepreneurial community and its business model is a natural fit with the growing talent base here in the digital marketing industry. With additional investment capital secured from a great Chicago-based firm like Baird, and its growing Chicago office led by Chicago ad veterans and Google, Yahoo and Groupon alumni, we expect its presence will only grow – and we look forward to that," said Kevin Willer, President and CEO of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC).
As part of the investment, Rocchio and Bevilacqua will join EDO's Board of Directors.
William Blair & Co. assisted the Company with the fundraising. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
About EDO Interactive, Inc.
EDO Interactive is a leader in digital and mobile advertising solutions, leveraging everyday payment networks to connect brands with consumers. EDO's Prewards® marketing platform employs advanced analytics and loyalty solutions to create value for consumers, brand advertisers and financial institutions. For more information, please visit www.edointeractive.com.
About Baird Venture Partners
Baird Venture Partners, the U.S.-based venture capital fund of Baird Private Equity, makes venture capital investments in early and expansion stage business services and life sciences companies. Baird Venture Partners leverages its in-depth sector knowledge, experienced investment team and network of relationships to serve as a value-added partner for its portfolio companies. Baird Private Equity, the global private equity group of Robert W. Baird & Co. (Baird), makes venture capital, growth equity and buyout investments in smaller, high potential companies in the United States through Baird Venture Partners and Baird Capital Partners, in China through Baird Capital Partners Asia, and in Europe through Baird Capital Partners Europe. Baird Private Equity has a global team of investment and operations professionals across the United States, Europe and Asia, including a team of operating professionals in Asia. Baird Private Equity and its affiliates have raised and managed over $2.8 billion in capital and invested in more than 245 companies since the 1980s. For more information, please visit www.bairdventurepartners.com.
About VantagePoint Capital Partners
VantagePoint Capital Partners is a leading global investor in energy innovation and efficiency, information technology and healthcare. With a best-in-class investment team of business and scientific experts, a broad network of corporate Strategic Partners, accomplished Senior Advisors, and more than $4.5 billion in committed capital, the Firm has the resources and talent to build important, industry-leading companies. Headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices in Hong Kong and Beijing, VantagePoint has active investments in over 70 companies, including award-winning innovative leaders: BrightSource Energy, Intelepeer, Livescribe, MiaSole, Serious Materials, Solazyme, Tesla Motors, Tendril, WageWorks, ReachLocal and Better Place. For more information, visit www.vpcp.com.
SOURCE EDO Interactive, Inc.