Local Yokel Media Raises $2.15 Million in First Institutional Round

Using Unique Cartographic Technology, Local Yokel Media Brings Media Buying Efficiency and Scale to Hyperlocal Service Areas

Stamford, Conn – Local Yokel Media (LYM), the Internet’s first hyperlocal digital ad platform specializing in monetizing hyperlocal ad impressions, today announced that it has closed its first institutional round of funding. Participating in the $2.15 million round are lead investor Connecticut Innovations, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and Gold Ridge Asset Management.

LYM’s unique value proposition lies in its ability to deliver very granular, local ad campaigns at scale, while offering professionally created ads (for advertisers who need it) that deliver optimal results. These campaigns have proven to be extremely efficient and can be executed at a small fraction of the cost of more traditional offline local marketing efforts such as direct mail.

With its unique ad-serving platform specifically designed for this hyperlocal market targeting and cartographic (mapping) technology, LYM aggregates hyperlocal websites (websites whose content addresses a specific community), local blogs and websites of community newspapers, organizes them by ZIP code and makes them easy and efficient to target.  Local Yokel Media’s internal campaign data show this level of “geo-contextual” ad targeting (targeting down to the community level in contextually relevant content) drives ad receptivity and overall performance. This now can be done from one platform.

In the past year, Local Yokel Media has grown its publisher base by 800 percent. This includes such publishers as Hersam Acorn Newspapers serving Fairfield County, Connecticut and DNA Info, a local news site covering the neighborhoods of New York City and Chicago. Ad revenue also grew by 250 percent, by working with clients such as Meineke Muffler, LL Bean, and 7-Eleven. The company recently moved its offices to the Stamford Innovation Center.

“We set out to prove that we could deliver better hyperlocal advertising and already we have seen ad performance that is orders of magnitude more efficient than other forms of digital local ad targeting,” says digital media industry veteran Dick O’Hare, who founded Local Yokel Media in July 2011 and serves as its CEO. “The funding that we have secured will be used to further build our hyperlocal ad targeting platform, and for business development and sales and marketing efforts.”

“Genuine local targeting and ad creative can produce dramatic response-rate improvements for marketers,” says Greg Sterling, of Sterling Market Intelligence and Opus Research. “There are billions of dollars in the local market; this is a giant opportunity that has been waiting for a scalable platform and approach.”

“Dick and Local Yokel Media are at the right place at the right time, and we are pleased to be part of the company’s future,” says David Audibert, managing director of investments at Connecticut Innovations. “A recent report by BIA/Kelsey projects the online/interactive/digital segment of the U.S. local media market to grow from $21.2 billion in 2011 to $38.1 billion in 2016. By 2016, more than one in every four local ad dollars will be spent on digital media. We expect Local Yokel Media to be part of that mix.”

Connecticut Innovations (CI) (www.ctinnovations.com) is a quasi-public corporation providing equity, debt and bond financing and other forms of financial assistance to companies in all stages of the business life cycle, from startup to later stage. CI offers its portfolio companies strategic guidance and collaborations with partners in business, finance, education, government and nonprofit sectors. CI’s initiatives are designed to grow the state’s economic and technology base, and to stimulate business investments and job creation.

The Department of Economic and Community Development (http://www.ct.gov/ecd/site/default.asp) is the state’s lead agency responsible for strengthening Connecticut’s competitive position in the new high-tech, knowledge-based global economy. The agency takes a comprehensive approach to economic development that incorporates housing and community development, as well as culture and tourism.

Gold Ridge Asset Management (http://www.goldridgeasset.com) is a private equity and investment firm focused on investments in micro cap companies with positive cash flow, valuations typically less than $10 million, and primarily located on the East Coast.  It provides funding for acquisitions, growth capital and ownership changes.  They partner with managers and owners who have significant resources committed to their businesses.

Local Yokel Media (http://www.localyokelmedia.com), the Internet’s first hyperlocal digital ad platform specializing in monetizing hyperlocal ad impressions, has raised angel funding from seasoned industry veterans such as Dave Morgan, founder and CEO of Simulmedia, TACODA and Real Media, Joe Apprendi, CEO and founder of Collective Media and Joe Zawadzki, CEO and founder of Media Math.