Outdoor adtech startup Doohly banks $500,000 pre-Seed to speed up digital ad execution

- April 29, 2024 2 MIN READ
Sean Law and Tom Sawkins
Doorly cofounders Sean Law and Tom Sawkins
Outdoor advertising startup Doohly has raised $500,000 in a pre-Seed round.

The raise was backed by Melbourne VC Skalata along with Archangel Ventures, with the funding earmarked to expand Doohly’s digital-out-of-home (DOOH) offering.

The startup is an end-to-end programmatic ecosystem for DOOH advertising, combining an independent content management system (CMS) with native integrations to a programmatic and verification platform, which has never been done before. 

Doohly co-founder Sean Law said interactive displays, augmented reality and anamorphic 3D video are all contributing to a new growth phase for DOOH, but it exists on rapidly-ageing infrastructure. 

“If you’ve passed the same old out-of date billboard on your commute for months, you’ll understand,” he said.

“The manual processes for managing, scheduling, and tracking ad performance are time consuming, inaccurate and not integrated with external systems.”

Law met cofounder Tom Sawkins while working at ASX-listed retail property group Vicinity Centres, where they both realised a significant gap in the market for an end-to-end DOOH management platform. 

The result is a data-driven, automated and measurable DOOH advertising that’s accessible to everyone.. 

“We found that venues needed an easy-to-use and simple-to-set-up digital signage platform that could easily be plugged into programmatic systems and didn’t take an engineering degree to figure out,” Law said. 

“We wanted to change the way people display ads in the real world, and make it a tool that not only the big guys can use, but a tool for everyone. What the iPhone did to Photography we want to do to the DOOH industry. We’ve consciously built a hardware-agnostic platform that also has a 10-minute learning curve.”

Doohly now has a foothold in the New Zealand market with key players, LUMO and HYPER. 

It’s also being used in locations across Australia, and the UK, including large format outdoor screens and retail media at sites like KX Pilates, Mobil, Rebel Sport and Liquorland. 

Skalata investor Tuong Tran said they want to help Doohly power every digital billboard across Australia. 

“DOOH is being used in nearly 50% of marketing campaigns, and 23% of ad execs are planning to double their DOOH budget this financial year,” he said.

“With the pay-per-click heyday behind us and TV ad spend down by 15%, advertisers are going where the eyeballs are – back to the real world.” 

Ad industry veteran and oOh! Media founder Brendon Cook has joined the startup’s advisory board. 

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