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 3 metre 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 pub 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 has appointed Niko Waesche, a seasoned media investor and venture capitalist, to lead the initiative. Waesche was responsible for co-founding Germany’s leading independent media for equity fund, German Media Pool, and 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.
Kelly Williams, Managing Director ITV Commercial, said: “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.”
Giles Rhys Jones, CMO of what3words added: “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.”