Tampa-based startup Nickelytics, a venture-backed advertising tech firm initially known as The Nickel Ride, has been acquired in an eight-figure deal.
Texas-based venture capital group T72 Club Inc., which has backed over $5 billion in investments and more than 150 acquisitions, purchased Nickelytics after months of discussions and negotiations.
“We weren’t looking to sell. We were looking at different potential rounds and capital, but the market is in a tough spot,” said Judah Longgrear, co-founder and CEO of Nickelytics. “We had good chemistry with them and checked off their boxes in what they were looking for.”
Longgrear, a St. Pete resident, said the team met T72 through an investor portal. They were impressed by Nickelytics’ strategy of leveraging out-of-home advertisements through vehicles, including autonomous delivery robots, e-scooters and electric vehicle charging networks, to help marketers reach customers regardless of location.
“We started having conversations that led to many months of talking and due diligence, and taking many trips to Dallas, where they are headquartered. At every meeting, we grew more excited about the opportunities,” he said.
Longgrear said they secured the deal over a month ago. He didn’t disclose the financial terms of the acquisition.
The last significant funding Nickelytics received was a six-figure investment from venture capital group BDev Ventures. Nickelytics previously raised $1.5 million in capital from Techstars, angel investors and equity crowdfunding on Republic.
“We are an early-stage company and have that scrappiness. With T72 as our parent and their star-studded team, we have more resources,” Longgrear said. “T72’s model is unique and valuable in comparison to the traditional equity or holding company. They are founders themselves and understand what it takes to build successful companies. Several of them sold companies for hundreds of millions of dollars and have helped companies go public.”
Longgrear said that while T72 has acquired the business and shareholders, Nickelytics’ operations will not change.
Longgrear will remain as the CEO.
“The addition of Nickelytics to our portfolio represents our dedication to investing in companies that not only show significant financial potential but also contribute unique, strategic value to their industries,” Rajendra Badadare, co-founder of T72, said in a prepared statement.
“A lot of our employees received raises, and we were able to provide more benefits. Having the backing of a larger company not only retains our current talent, but it also allows us to acquire new employees. We’ve recently made a couple of key hires to build out our team as we plan to make massive strides in the next couple of years,” Longgrear said.
Nickeyltics has roughly 20 employees, including contractors.
This month, the Nickelytics team announced a new partnership with robotics company Kiwibot to launch a campaign with Rita’s Italian Ice in Washington, D.C.
Earlier this year, Nickelytics entered a partnership with Serve Robotics, which is a spinoff from Uber that’s developed autonomous food-delivering robots. The first campaign launched through the new advertising partnership was with Smokey Bear, the advertising icon of the U.S. Forest Service, in the Wildfire Prevention campaign powered by the Ad Council.
The Level 4 all-electric autonomous robots were wrapped with wildfire prevention awareness messaging.
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