Firefly, the location-based advertising and smart city technologies company established by Turkish entrepreneurs Kaan Günay and Onur Kardeşler in San Francisco, has attracted $30 million in new investments from two venture capital funds that steer the global technology sector. NFX, which currently has investors, has also joined the Series A investment, led by Alphabet's corporate venture capital firm GV (formerly Google Ventures).
Firefly is an intelligent media platform initiative that shows advertisements in accordance with route, regional demographic structure and traffic conditions by placing smart screens having situational awareness on shared vehicles and taxis in San Francisco and Los Angeles. It received a $21.5 million investment in December 2018.
Founded in 2017, Firefly announced that it entered the New York market in addition to its latest investment. Firefly announced that it took over the digital operations of Strong, which controls 50% of New York's taxi billboard market.
Indicating that they are focused on the next generation of advertising technologies, Firefly CEO Kaan Günay said: "We have become the fastest growing smart media platform in the U.S. in a short time. We are excited for moving our innovative software to New York. We are also focused on new cities in the U.S., and our preparations continue. After the investment we received in December 2018, we invested in an office in Istanbul, creating jobs for 50 software developers. Our investments will continue. We aim to increase the number of software developers we employ to 100 in a short time."
Touching on their business model, Günay indicated that they create up to 15% additional revenue for taxi drivers with shared vehicles. Pointing out that they cooperate with local administrations, he continued: "We include announcements of the Amber Warning System for missing children on our screens. We have allocated 10% of our screen inventory for nongovernmental organizations, local small businesses and other local administration announcements." Referring to the new advertisement format that Firefly is focused on, GV General Partner Adam Ghobarah remarked that the size of shared vehicles, in addition to taxis, has created block and timing-based out-of-home digital advertising opportunities in cities.