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Progress Story: OPEN Media makes its mark

Liverpool City-based Out of Home Media owner OPEN Media continues to grow exponentially, increasing its Out of Home (OOH) advertising estate to four networks across 12 UK cities since its inception in 2015 and with significant six-figure funding support from local fund manager River Capital.

By the end of 2022, the company had achieved 61% Year on Year revenue growth and received BCorp certification, making OPEN the first outdoor media owner in Europe to be accredited, showcasing the exceptional performance of the business.

OPEN now holds the ability to deliver 10,152,993 campaign impacts across its extensive network, including event day impacts of 362,000 alone at its standout site BOXPARK: London

As a result of this, OPEN has been entrusted with some of the country’s most recognisable campaigns, including the NIKE x Liverpool Football Club Homecoming Parade in 2022 and the first nationwide carbon-neutral campaign with sustainability-focused Sterling Bank utilising the OPEN network to convey responsible messaging in 2023.

OPEN also works with several regular clients, including retail giant JD Sports, who have utilised digital screens since 2017, helping elevate the trainer king’s presence in key cities across the UK.

Launched by Mike Smith, the company now employs 23 team members, ranging from marketing & insights, operations, and sales, as well as housing its design team who provide bespoke guidance and support to its clients across the country, with each relationship benefitting from expert local and regional expertise with offices now in Manchester and London complementing its iconic Liverpool home in the heart of the Royal Liver Building.

With its significant focus on its people that embody the ‘3 P’s, People, Planet, Place, OPEN recognises that it is the strength of its team that will lead to further growth with plans to undertake an additional 20 + sites across the UK in the next 12-18 months.

Speaking on behalf of OPEN Media, CEO and Founder Mike Smith said:

“I’ve always had a clear vision for OPEN. When I founded the business in 2015, I knew what I wanted to achieve, and I also knew I needed support to make the vision a reality. Finding good people who understand – and are excited by – your plan is crucial, and I am lucky to have had a strong, driven team around me since the early days of the OPEN journey. Trust is a big factor for me; it always has been. However, there is no denying the importance of having a solid financial plan to realise and grow any business venture.

If you’re seeking any funding or investment to launch your business OR to take it to the next level, you need to be 100% confident in your plan and be clear on your options. Be prepared to be challenged on your ‘why’, which will feel uncomfortable at times – particularly if or when things become challenging within your business, as was the case for many during COVID-19.

Working with River Capital to secure funding support at 2 crucial ‘step off’ points, for OPEN Media, has been game-changing for us and enabled OPEN to reach a unique growth position within the early stages of a business journey.”

River Capital’s Head of Debt, John Gray, said:

“We’re thrilled that the support we’ve provided OPEN Media over the years has assisted in them growing the business significantly to a point where they are a major player in the UK OOH market. That they’re being entrusted with significant campaigns from some of the worlds most notable brands is a testament to the work that Mike and his team have put in despite some of the challenges they’ve faced, and we look forward to watching them grow even further across the UK and wish them success moving forward”.