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Following the announcement of ITV AdVentures Invest, a Media for Equity initiative, ITV has now concluded its first investment in what3words Limited. what3words is a uniquely accessible location service, which has divided the world into a grid of 3m squares, giving each its own three word identifier: a what3words address.  For example, the front door to ITV’s head office can be found at ///drama.keen.buyers, and one of ITV’s most-iconic locations, the Rovers Return in Coronation Street is at ///horn.studio.towers. ITV is acquiring a minority stake valued at £2 million in return for advertising inventory, with an option to invest a further £2 million. 

ITV AdVentures Invest is a Media for Equity initiative that sees ITV take minority stakes in early stage digital and direct-to-consumer businesses, alongside venture capital investment, in return for advertising inventory across ITV’s range of market-leading channels and the ITV Hub.

The initiative will serve as an innovative opportunity for early stage businesses seeking to build scale through TV advertising, alongside a strategic media partner. 

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ITV has appointed Niko Waesche, a seasoned media investor and venture capitalist, to lead the initiative. Niko was responsible for co-founding Germany’s leading independent media for equity fund, German Media Pool.

He brings significant experience from a background in media strategy, sales, data and tech, having previously held senior positions within RTL, GfK and the media industry unit of IBM. 

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“We are always exploring new and creative opportunities to introduce emerging brands to TV advertising. This new equity scheme marks an opportunity for ITV to invest in and support entrepreneurial consumer-focused companies, whilst diversifying and expanding upon our existing clients and relationships. This initiative will also demonstrate to digital-led businesses the power of ITV’s weekly reach of over 40 million people, as well as the storytelling and brand-building capabilities of TV. We are thrilled that our first investment is a leading UK-based tech company which also supports public services.” Kelly Williams, Managing Director, ITV Commercial

More about what3words

 

 

what3words is an innovative, widely available addressing technology providing a simple way to communicate location. It is available as a free app to consumers, whilst clients of the company include automobility brands Mercedes-Benz, Ford, the AA and Addison Lee, and delivery/ e-commerce platforms such as Hermes and BJS.

In addition, hundreds of emergency control rooms in markets as diverse as the UK, India, North America and South Africa use the technology on a daily basis to reduce search times.  

“what3words has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people using the system. Our work is helping individuals and businesses across the UK to make deliveries, meet friends, specify destinations for taxis and cars, but also to save lives. ITV can take our message of helping people to “know exactly where” to millions of homes. It's fantastic to have such a great partner on our mission to make the world a safer, less frustrating and more efficient place.” Giles Rhys Jones, CMO, what3words

Interested in the initiative?

We're open and on the lookout for our next round of partners, so if you’re looking to scale up and accelerate growth in a cost effective way, we'd love to speak to you. Email our dedicated team on adventuresinvest@itv.com.

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