• Beachfront Media Sells Majority Stake to Private Equity Firms

    Independent programmatic mobile video ad platform Beachfront Media has sold a majority stake to two private equity firms, Growth Catalyst Partners and PSP Capital, a fund started by Penny Pritzker who was previously Secretary of Commerce in the Obama administration. Deal terms were not announced.

    As part of the investment, Bill Jennings, previously president of Page Science, will become CEO of Beachfront, with prior colleague Rich O’Connor becoming CFO. Beachfront co-founder and CEO Frank Sinton will become president, while is co-founder and wife Lisa Connell, will leave the business (both will remain owners).

    The transaction is the latest among many in the video ad tech space over the past couple of years as the industry continues to consolidate and evolve. I’ve covered Beachfront for years and Bill and I have known each other since he was at Lightningcast, one of the earliest video ad tech providers.

    Bill said that he put Beachfront on GCP’s radar and the firm liked how Beachfront was positioned in the middle of 3 significant trends: the generational shift to mobile, the growth of mobile video advertising and the rise of programmatic. While other companies are evolving into mobile, this has been Beachfront’s focus since inception 11 years ago (on a personal level, Frank has educated me a lot of the years about the nuances of ads in mobile video vs. desktop).

    Bill said that with the new investment, the priority is to accelerate Beachfront’s development, primarily by staffing up teams on both the demand and publisher sides of the business. Beachfront will also transition its headquarters from Florida to NYC where it has maintained an office for a while. Although Beachfront has operated without either a CRO or CMO, Bill was noncommittal about hiring for those roles as yet. One area he did say Beachfront will ramp up in is connected TV advertising. CTV is one of the fastest-growing parts of online video advertising as consumers adopt CTV as their preferred viewing source.  

    Overall, the investment positions Beachfront to be a much bigger player in both mobile and CTV advertising, especially as the role of programmatic grows. Beachfront has always run very lean, so additional resources should drive many new opportunities. For Frank and Lisa, who I’ve known for many years, it appears to be a great outcome and I wish them congratulations!