New Company Savveo Opens HQ in Charlotte To Transform Local Advertising Market

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The founders of OverstockAds.com, a leading portal of discounted advertising inventory, today announced the formation of Savveo, Inc. – a new venture designed to transform the way local advertising is bought and sold, headquartered in Charlotte. An evolution of the OverstockAds.com experience, the Savveo website, when open to the public later this year, will serve as an online marketplace to bring long-overdue efficiencies to the $445 billion local advertising market.

“Local advertising is one of the most effective ways for businesses to reach their prospective customers, but the way it’s done today is wildly inefficient and frustrating,” said Shafi Mustafa, CEO of Savveo and founder of OverstockAds.com (left in photo). “There are more than 34,000 local media outlets in the U.S., but would-be advertisers – whether businesses or ad agencies – don’t have anywhere to go for a single, consolidated view of the advertising outlets available to them, and they certainly don’t have a single place to go to buy and track advertising across those outlets. That’s the problem Savveo solves.”

A derivation of the word “savvy,” Savveo is rooted in the success of OverstockAds.com, and will provide users with actionable intelligence on a wide range of advertising inventory across channels, including out- of-home, print, radio and television. Savveo represents the culmination of research into a pressing industry need, as well as feedback from OverstockAds.com’s user base, and its more than 500 current regional and national media partners. In addition to streamlining the ad buying process for users, Savveo’s website will also drive efficiencies for media companies – positively impacting both their bottom line and their advertisers’ buying experiences.

While unveiling plans for the new venture, Mustafa also announced investors in a $2.0 million round of Series A funding, which will help accelerate Savveo’s development. Investors include Tim Biltz, chairman of Savveo’s board of directors and CEO of Lumos Networks; Sayoko Teitelbaum, co-founder of Toura; Simon Clark, senior partner at Engine UK; David Jones, CEO of Peak 10; and Baycrest Capital, along with a select group of U.S.-based and international investors.

Complementing the roster of blue chip investors is a strong management team led by Mustafa, who was also previously a partner at SMMC Studios and a managing director at KEA Marketing & Advertising. Mustafa is joined by co-founder Steve Villa (right in photo), who will serve as president of Savveo, and was previously CEO of Muzak and CFO of Frisby Technologies. Key engineering and operations personnel include start-up veterans hailing from companies including EMC, RSA, Terracotta and DataTools.

“The opportunity here is enormous,” said Villa. “In 2011, the total global expenditure on local advertising was almost $450 billion. In the U.S. alone, it topped $137 billion. To date, no one has done the hard work to aggregate, categorize and productize that ad inventory – especially the offline ad inventory which accounts for 91 percent of the spend. We believe the market will amply reward the first company that does so, and we intend for Savveo to be that company.”

Savveo is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., with a development office in San Mateo, Calif. Additional details about the company will be shared when it publicly unveils the Savveo online marketplace later this year. To receive updates and additional information, please register at www.savveo.com.

About Savveo
Savveo, Inc. is transforming the way local advertising is bought and sold. Addressing the inefficiencies of the $445 billion local advertising industry, Savveo will give businesses and agencies a single, easy-to-use online marketplace through which they can identify and compare advertising options across channels – including out-of-home, print, radio, television, sponsorships and non-traditional – as well as purchase and track campaigns. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., with development offices in Silicon Valley, Savveo was founded in 2012 by ad agency executives who had, themselves, wrestled with the complexities of planning and executing local advertising initiatives. For additional information about Savveo, please visit www.savveo.com and follow us on Twitter @gosavveo.

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