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Brabners advises innovative digital advertising business on £80k investment

Brabners advises innovative digital advertising business on £80k investment

Wednesday 9th December 2015

Commercial law firm Brabners has advised an innovative Liverpool business which has developed digital advertising boards for the city’s black taxis on a £80k investment by Merseyside Special Investment Fund (MSIF).

Open Messenger has been developed by local entrepreneur Mike Smith who is based at the Baltic Triangle. 

The digital messenger boards allow advertisers to tailor their promotional messages on Hackney taxis to real-time conditions, such as local weather, location and time. 

MSIF’s £80k is the first tranche of an investment totalling £160k and is part of a £245k funding package which includes the director’s own investment.  He previously raised £200k to fund the research and development phase.

There are currently 20 taxis on the road with Open Messenger screens installed and there should be around 40 before the end of the year. 

Managing director Mike Smith said: “Content can be uploaded within 15 seconds so we can react easily to external circumstance and adapt the content accordingly. 

“We also act as a mouthpiece for the city, giving regular traffic and weather updates, providing emergency notifications or sharing/appealing for information about missing persons or crime.

 “We’ve worked closely with the commercial/IP team at Brabners who, as well as giving legal/IP advice, have provided strategic guidance in key areas.  This is vital for us because we will be fundraising again soon as we look to roll out the brand and service across the UK and investors need to see a solid business strategy.

“Our aim now is to continue to increase the number of units here in Liverpool and roll out the concept in other cities.”

Nik White, head of Brabners’ commercial/IP team, led the team advising Open Messenger. He said: “The way the software responds to external conditions is an extremely valuable tool for advertisers.  For example, if a taxi is in an area which is popular with students it could advertise student nights or clothing ranges aimed at that age range. 

“Open Messenger is a really exciting business and a great example of Liverpool’s thriving creative and digital sector.  There is huge potential for the business to expand and we look forward to continuing to work with Mike and the team through the next phase of the company’s development.”

Open Messenger currently employs 5 staff and expects to take on a further 10 during the next 3 years.

For further information please contact:
Anne Griffiths, PR Manager
Brabners LLP
DD 0151 600 3072
Mobile 07772 052196
Email anne.griffiths@brabners.com