90. Captive Media

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  • Henry Williams

Founders: Gordon Macsween, Mark Melford and James Borrett
Founded: January 2012
Website: www.captive-media.co.uk

Describing itself as a washroom-based interactive media system, Captive Media is a truly unique proposition. A finalist in the Startups Awards Innovative Business of the Year category, the company installs a screen above urinals featuring games that are controlled by, well, urinating – with digital adverts appearing in the games.

Born from the realisation that ‘generation Y consumers’ were filtering out traditional advertising, founders Gordon Macsween, Mark Melford and James Borrett saw an opportunity to harness the estimated three billion minutes of undivided male attention spent at urinals in the UK every year. With deals in place with 200 establishments across the country so far, the company primarily drives revenue through selling in-game advertising space. Clients to-date include drinks brands Captain Morgan and Guinness, electronics giant Beats by Dre, and charities Drinkaware and Comic Relief.

Captive Media has closed three successful funding rounds, with the latest securing $1m in February 2015, to aid the completion of its nationwide 200 screen network. Already available in 12 countries, the company will embark on its largest ever stage of international expansion in the US over the next year and hopes to break even in 2015. With no direct competitors and unrivalled potential, global men’s toilet habits could become one of the biggest advertising markets in the world.

Henry Williams

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