Munich, April 4th, 2023 - 4.screen, the world’s first driver interaction platform, today announces the successful closure of its €21 million Series A funding round, led by S4S Ventures and Continental Corporate Venture Capital.
Based in Munich, 4.screen is a driver interaction platform which was co-founded in 2020 by three ex-BMW digital product specialists. 4.screen allows global and local brands to interact with drivers in real time via their car screens, using ground-breaking in-car technology and unique data signals, only accessible through their platform. By leveraging car sensor data, such as location, engine type, car brand and fueling or charging levels, the platform provides drivers with contextual information about nearby businesses, including parking, restaurants or shops - and provides marketers using its platform with targeting precision unmatched by alternative in-car channels.
4.screen therefore enables businesses to target the most relevant audience at any given moment, driving brand awareness and creating a notable pickup in store visits by tapping into the market of on-the-go consumers.
The funding will be used to accelerate 4.screen's global expansion plans and further advance its platform. The co-leads, S4S Ventures and Continental VC, bring strategic benefits in addition to capital - S4S Ventures brings advertising and marketing expertise, and Continental VC provides expertise in automotive technology. 4.screen has also received backing from three German venture capital firms, Summiteer, BayBG and FRIBA Investment and from business angels from the automotive industry, including Matthias Müller, former CEO of VW, and Bram Schot, former CEO of Audi.
To date, 4.screen has successfully launched with multiple car makers in Europe, including Audi, Skoda and Mercedes-Benz, and is live with several million users actively using the platform today. It counts over 60 global consumer brands as customers, including Shell and McDonald's, and is now targeting expansion in the EU and North America through the rest of the year. 4.screen enables OEM touch point and use-case agnostic services that are backward integrated into existing car models (going back to 2018), meaning that the platform can be scaled at zero marginal cost and at the click of a button.
Business-to-driver interaction via the car screen is one of the digital advertising industry's most significant untapped channels. According to a study by Ptolemus Consulting, the number of connected vehicles has reached 260 million and is expected to rise to 600 million by 2030, at which point the overall market value, estimated by McKinsey, will exceed €300 billion.
Fabian Beste, Co-founder and CEO of 4.screen commented “We are delighted to have closed our Series A funding round and to have secured the trust from strong investors. S4S Ventures brings outstanding business expertise in marketing and advertising, while Continental Corporate Venture Capital adds invaluable global mobility experience and knowledge. We are now well positioned to expand our operations beyond Europe and deliver exceptional experiences to drivers and businesses worldwide. We are grateful for the support of our valued investors and excited for the journey ahead.”
Sanja Partalo, Co-founder and Managing Partner at S4S Ventures commented: “4.screen is opening up one of the digital advertising industry's most significant untapped channels, with remarkable speed and at scale. Their ability to integrate into the OEM’s core systems and utilize the rich data signals has enabled them to build a truly differentiated offering within the digital advertising industry. Their platform will give rise to a new breed of ad formats and marketing experiences, which 4.screen and their automotive partners are uniquely positioned to provide.”
Sir Martin Sorrell, Founder and Chairman at S4Capital, and Co-Founder and Partner at S4S Ventures commented: “As an entirely new and distinct channel, 4.screen is a rare and exciting opportunity. The automotive industry has always recognised the huge importance of advertising, and Fabian and his team are driving the industry’s advance into digital transformation and the immense value it can unlock for the driver, the automotive company, the advertiser and the digital advertising ecosystem as a whole. We are delighted to be investing ahead of the expansion into North America, which brings the potential to reach many multiples of the users 4.screen already has in Europe.”
Jürgen Bilo, Managing Director of Continental’s Corporate Venture Capital Unit commented: “We are pleased to announce that our Corporate Venture Capital Unit invested into 4.screen, a cutting-edge technology company that is revolutionizing the way we consume and interact with digital content in the car. Their innovative solution combined with an excellent team, make them a standout player in the industry. We are confident that our involvement will not only drive the growth of 4.screen, but also pave the way for a new era of e-commerce in mobility.”
Matthias Müller, investor and former CEO VW commented: “As an investor in 4.screen, I am delighted to have witnessed the company's exceptional progress and accomplishment in securing its series A funding round. 4.screen's technology has the potential to transform the in-car experience, creating massive opportunities for car brands to connect drivers with their surroundings. The digitalization of vehicles is set to revolutionize both the automotive industry and the digital advertising industry, and 4.screen is at the forefront of this change.”
Bram Schot, investor, Board Member Shell and Senior Advisor Carlyle Group commented: “Having witnessed the impressive progress of 4.screen, I am excited about the opportunity it presents for car brands and businesses. By enabling real-time interaction with drivers, 4.screen's technology creates an entirely new marketing channel. I see the potential for companies like Shell to leverage this channel and reach millions of drivers in a personalized way.”
### ENDS ###
About S4S Ventures
S4S Ventures is a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage companies focused on transforming the Marketing and Advertising sector through digital innovation. The firm focuses on five principal areas: Martech, Adtech, Data Technology, Creative Technology, and Emerging Digital Media/Content. Its investment portfolio includes companies providing solutions for programmatic advertising, data warehousing, content development, metaverse monetization, and emerging digital media. The team at S4S provides strategic guidance and support to their portfolio companies to ensure they have the resources they need to succeed. S4S Ventures believes in the power of technology to transform the marketing and advertising sector and is passionate about supporting startups that are driving innovation and change.
About Continental Corporate Venture Capital
Continental’s Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) unit invests in early-stage technology companies, giving startups direct access to Continental's global mobility and industry expertise. The CVC unit focuses on companies that operate in Continental’s long-term, strategic growth areas. Founded in 2018, it aims to foster innovation rapidly and effectively in order to accelerate transformation across industries.
4.screen is the world’s first platform designed to connect, interact, and engage with drivers. 4.screen’s Mobility Experience Cloud (MXC) provides a fully standardized interface for real-time location-based interaction with every connected driver, of every car brand, worldwide. Car brands, navigation system, and mobility service providers integrate 4.screen’s APIs into their systems to enable billions of interactions every day. Drivers benefit from a wide variety of useful services such as relevant in-car recommendations, better in-car content and access to exclusive offers. Businesses of all sizes - from local shops to global brands and smart cities - are using the 4.screen technology to increase the visibility of their brand or locations by offering useful content to drivers. 4.screen is headquartered in Munich and has the world’s leading brands as customers.
Download the full press release