Centro Secures $22.5M in Series A Financing from Growth Equity Firm FTV Capital

By January 9, 2011

Leading Chicago Technology Company to Utilize Funding for Automated Media Buying Software and Sales Force Expansion

Chicago, January 4, 2011–Chicago-based technology and digital media services company Centro has secured $22.5 million in equity financing from multi-stage growth equity firm FTV Capital. This financing will fuel increased investment in Centro’s automated digital media buying software, Transis, as well as accelerate a significant expansion of Centro’s sales force targeting mid-tier advertisers and ad agencies.

As the leading provider of online local and display advertising solutions, Centro simplifies the buying and selling of premium online ad inventory. Centro’s proprietary Transis platform enables advertising agencies to run highly customized campaigns across more than 10,000 national and local sites.

In early 2010 Centro launched the award-winning Transis as a standalone web-based system that helps advertising agencies and advertisers automate the manual process of media buying and execution. Transis has already seen rapid adoption by more than 50 of the nation’s top agencies including Boelter + Lincoln, Burrell Communications Group, Cactus Advertising, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Echo Media, McKinney, Paramore|Redd and True Media.

With 18 offices nationwide, Centro has achieved strong fiscal growth and performance and the company currently services more than 350 agencies and 1,100 advertisers. Centro’s industry leadership has been acknowledged through many industry awards including Deloitte’s 2010 Technology Fast 500, Crain’s Chicago Business Best Places to Work 2010, CIO 100 Awards 2010, Inc. 500 and AlwaysOn’s OnDemand Top 100.

“Centro has a unique and sustainably differentiated value proposition through the combination of powerful technology, domain expertise, broad publisher relationships, market data and business intelligence,” said Eric Byunn, partner at FTV Capital and new Centro board member. “The management of online display advertising is complex and expensive relative to traditional, offline models. FTV’s strategic limited partners — many of the world’s largest financial institutions — have a huge challenge in effectively managing extensive online advertising programs. Centro works with agencies and advertisers to provide the most advanced media planning and buying solution to successfully meet this need.”

“We’re excited to have FTV Capital as our growth equity partner as we invest heavily in software development and aggressively expand our sales force,” said Shawn Riegsecker, chief executive officer and founder of Centro. “FTV Capital’s experience investing in software automation companies combined with its well-respected and extensive relationships in the financial services and banking sectors will be a great help as we execute our growth strategy in the media and publishing industry.”

GCA Savvian served as exclusive financial advisor to Centro in this transaction.

About FTV Capital

FTV Capital is a multi-stage private equity firm that invests in high-growth companies offering a range of innovative solutions. FTV Capital provides entrepreneurs with unique access to its Global Partner Network, a group of the world’s foremost financial institutions that have invested in FTV Capital and its portfolio companies for more than a decade. Founded in 1998, FTV Capital has more than $1 billion under management and has offices in San Francisco and New York. For more information, please visit http://www.ftvcapital.com.

About Centro

Centro is a digital media services company and the creator and provider of Transis, the first “front-end to back-end” media automation software to help advertising agencies increase efficiencies, save costs and scale more effectively and profitably. Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Chicago with 18 offices nationwide, Centro serves over 350 agencies representing more than 1,100 advertisers. Centro’s commitment to culture, innovation and great customer service has allowed it to receive many industry awards including Inc. 500, Red Herring 100 and Crain’s Chicago Business Best Places to Work award. For more information, visit http://www.transis.com and http://www.centro.net.