Vibenomics on roll, lands another $6.5M in venture capital

Fishers-based audio marketing tech firm Vibenomics Inc. is on a capital-raising roll.

After announcing outside investment of $6 million eight months ago, Vibenomics on Wednesday announced it has landed another $6.5 million in what company officials are calling a Series A2 round of financing. The company raised $5 million last November.

Founded as Fuzic in 2016, Vibenomics offers cloud-based services that allow retailers, restaurants, gyms and other clients to engage on-site customers with custom announcements and licensed-music playlists.

The company has now raised a total of $18.5 million in venture and growth capital, company officials told IBJ.

The most recent round of funding, which closed three weeks ago, will be used to support the launch of additional national networks in convenience stores and grocery retailers, fueled by the rising momentum in programmatic technology, company officials said.

Atlanta-based BIP Capital, who led Vibenomics’ Series A funding earlier this year, is a follow-on investor for this round along with locally based Elevate Ventures. The round includes a combination of $4.5 million in equity funding and $2 million in venture debt.

Vibenomics has had a string of successes in the last three years.

Vibenomics, which has 44 employees, last fall launched an audio out-of-home advertising marketplace headed by former Emmis Communications executive Paul Brenner. The company began selling ad spots to national advertisers for audio commercials that are played across clients’ in-house controlled radio stations.

By combining licensed, background-music playlists and commercial spots paid for by brand advertisers, Vibenomics helps businesses with physical locations enhance store sales, enrich the customer experience and receive a share of advertisement revenue. The company enables brands to talk to shoppers directly at the point-of-sale inside thousands of retail locations through Audio OOH advertising, impacting immediate purchase decisions.

“This funding is a testament to the continued belief of our investors in the future of Vibenomics and what we’re building,” Brent Oakley, Vibenomics CEO, said in a statement. “Our team continues to be the leader in programmatic Audio OOH media and, with these funds, we plan to accelerate product development and go-to-market execution, building on the momentum we’ve already established.”

Vibenomics currently reaches 200 million unique shoppers nationwide and expects to be in more than 10,000 convenience and grocery retail outlets by 2021, company officials said.

“Vibenomics provides brands a new way to reach consumers at the moment they are making purchase decisions in retail stores,” Paul Iaffaldano, chief investment officer at BIP Capital, said in a statement. “The programmatic integration makes it incredibly easy for brands and agencies to take advantage of an unprecedented level of consumer data, and schedule flexibility.”

Vibenomics officials told IBJ that the firm had doubled its revenue each year since its founding, and despite the pandemic it is on track to triple revenue this year.

Oakley projected Vibenomics will triple revenue again in 2021. He expects the firm to have 60 full-time employees by the end of this year and 80 by the end of next year.

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