Digital Signage Firm UPshow Raises $14 Million, Counts Tobaccowala Among Its Investors

UPshow, the start-up digital signage company that helps brick-and-mortar retailers engage their customers and employees more effectively, has just raised another $14 million in funding.

Separate from institutional investors, the Chicago-based firm, founded in 2015, has the backing of so-called “angel” investors, including Rishad Tobaccowala, the longtime Publicis Groupe media executive who remains a strategic adviser to the holding company.

UPshow has created a proprietary tech platform that connects in-store TV screens and mobile devices. The cloud-based software lets retailers offer content, prompts and offers tailored to time of day and location, pre-set or dynamically controlled down to the individual screen level. It also provides analytics for ROI reporting.

The platform now reaches customers and employees through more than 25,000 screens via customers, such as Wendy’s, Rite-Aid, Crunch Fitness, UFC Gyms, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dave and Busters, among others.



Tobaccowala, who made headlines earlier this week, had this to say about his investment in the firm: “Brick-and-mortar brands have been woefully unprepared to compete with the attention-grabbing digital platforms that customers and employees use inside their venues, and their businesses suffer because of it.”

As digital experiences continue to be more compelling with enhanced mobile devices, wearables and other new technologies, he added: “Brick-and-mortar brands need an offering like UPshow to create in-venue experiences that capture the attention of their customers and employees in ways that create measurable, hard ROI. UPshow’s rapid growth is proof that they are solving that unmet need.”

The round of venture capital funding that raised the $14 million was led by 4490 Ventures.

The company’s managing director, Dave Malven, said UPshow’s offering “puts the control and attention [of the in-store customer experience] back to its rightful owner, the brick-and-mortar brand itself.” As opposed to a bevy of “non-friendlies,” like Google and Amazon, that have increasingly gained control over those experiences over time, added Malven.

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