Fishers tech marketing firm Vibenomics raises $5M in seed capital

Fishers-based audio marketing technology company Vibenomics Inc. on Monday announced it has closed on $5 million in additional seed funding.

The funding round included investments from existing investor High Alpha and new investors Elevate Ventures and members of the Ricker family who previously owned the Ricker’s gas station chain.

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.

Vibenomics recently 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.

The marketplace is capable of reaching a national audience of nearly 150 million consumers or targeting any combination of 4000 individual locations, Vibenomics said.

Brent Oakley, founder and CEO of Vibenomics, said the investment would help the company add to its staff of 33.

“The new funding will be used primarily to expand the advertising marketplace by increasing the number of participating locations and building out the ad sales team,” Oakley said in written comments. “We will focus on real-time custom branded and curated content, dynamic music and programmatic advertising across strategic marketing verticals and categories.”

Before the company was rebranded as Vibenomics in 2017, it raised $280,000 from friends and family and $3 million in seed funding. It plans to raise Series A institutional funding in 2020.

In October 2017, the company announced it would spend $3.7 million to build out a new 11,736-square-foot office in the Braden Building in Fishers’ Nickel Plate District. It also said it would add 255 workers by the end of 2020.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. agreed to provide the company $3.35 in conditional tax credits and up to $145,000 in training grants based on the job-creation plans.

Vibenomics has collected about $33,000 in tax credits and $125,000 in training grants from the state incentive contract, according to the IEDC web site.

The city of Fishers also agreed to contribute nearly $250,000 toward tenant improvements in the company’s space in the Braden Building.

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