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Programmatic Mobile Video Is Worth The Dough

Mobile video advertising has been exploding, and the latest proof of the industry’s bright future? Acquisitions, including Tuesday’s latest news.

Growth Catalyst Partners (GCP) and Penny Pritzker’s PSP Capital have acquired a majority stake in mobile video monetization company Beachfront Media. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Based in New York, Beachfront has been around for more than a decade, growing steadily (and profitably) with software products for digital publishers and advertisers to transact. Beachfront handles billions of video ad requests per day, across mobile, Connected TVs and desktop environments. Just last month, the company reported Connected TV ad requests increasing over 2 billion in Q3 2017.

Beachfront co-founder Frank Sinton

Beachfront has been a key part of shaping the programmatic advertising space since its inception, which is what drew GCP and PSP to this acquisition. Advertising is becoming increasingly automated, which has them bullish on the long-term upside of an independent player like Beachfront.

Going forward, GCP and PSP will provide Beachfront with substantial resources to expand its capabilities and continue to ensure ad-supported video businesses can thrive across all platforms.

“The future of content consumption is increasingly mobile, social and arrayed across a diverse set of screens of all shapes and sizes,” said PSP founder and former U.S.Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “Beachfront’s platform-agnostic business model and world-class management team will play a pivotal role in the dynamic and fast-changing media industry landscape for years to come.”

With the acquisition, Bill Jennings will take on the role of Beachfront Media CEO, with Rich O’Connor serving as CFO. The two previously teamed up in the same roles at ad targeting company PageScience (acquired by Accent Health in 2016).

New Beachfront CEO Bill Jennings

Jennings served as CEO of PageScience from 2009 through this year, along with his role as President of Accent Health, which he held since the time of the acquisition. He’s previously held top positions with Vitrue, Lightningcast, A&E and Flycast as well.

O’Connor is currently the CFO of RhythmOne, and was a co-founder of Catchit Media. Before his role at PageScience, he co-founded and served as CFO of PV Media Group (acquired by Blinkx in 2011) and was a principal partner at Nikita Capital Partners.

Beachfront Media co-founder Frank Sinton will continue his responsibilities as President. He and fellow founder Lisa Connell will remain owners of the business.

“Bill’s and Rich’s direct experience and track record, combined with Beachfront’s team and technology, is a recipe for massive growth,” said Scott Peters, Managing Partner, GCP. “We’re excited to make the announcement official and leverage our relationships to further accelerate Beachfront’s growth.”

As mobile video ad spend is projected to more than double from 2017 to 2020, this is a strategic endeavor by all parties involved to capitalize on the soon-to-be $23 billion industry.

Troy Noard and Peter Berghoff will co-lead the investment for PSP, with Jim TenBroek, Scott Peters and James O’Callaghan leading for GCP. The transaction was proprietarily sourced. Dickinson Wright LLP served as legal counsel to Growth Catalyst Partners. Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP represented PSP Capital, and Greenberg Traurig LLP acted as legal counsel to Beachfront Media.