Article by Steve Ellwanger
Boston, MA, November 7, 2016—As digital media collide with traditional TV, the result is a tectonic shift that provides opportunities for companies with data, software and other workflow solutions. Playing matchmaker between large incumbents and tech entrepreneurs is Progress Partners, which recently gathered some 275 participants to “talk about the unusual suspects,” according to Davis Rosborough, Investment Banking Senior Associate.
Those suspects are often characterized by entities many people do not know exist but are considered key to success in the rapidly changing advertising and media sector. For example, Progress was involved in the acquisitions of PureCars and LSN Mobile by Raycom Media; Qualia?s merger with BlueCava; and Adazzle’s sale to Comcast.
It’s not just buying and selling that results from daily discussions with entrepreneurs and investors, according to Rosborough. It’s also fostering discussion about companies’ own organizations “to drive innovation or at least different kinds of thinking,” he says in an interview with Beet.TV.
Asked to identify hot areas for deal opportunity in advertising and media, Rosborough points to television and its large number of broadcast, cable and satellite incumbents. “They’re all thinking about the shifting infrastructure and delivery demands,” Rosborough says. In particular, “Opportunities to get more specific, more customized with advertising in terms of addressability” as set-top boxes battle IP-based services.
“We are seeing a lot of clients that are interested to essentially buy into the marketplace or invest in that marketplace,” Rosborough explains. “Because there’s a tectonic shift going on right now in terms of the opportunity to have access to or own part of the infrastructure part of workflow.”
Companies that are able to deliver software solutions or data solutions that are integrated in the de facto workflow “can survive a long time, are successful and are essentially invited to the next round if you think about the cycle of the technology industry,” says Rosborough says.
Progress also makes its own investments via Progress Ventures.