Toms River Startup Yashi Exits to the Tune of $33 Million; Staying in NJ
If you want to know how a husband and wife team figured out how to monetize video through advertising, and turned their startup into one of the fastest-growing companies in New Jersey, just watch this video: youtu.be/pVynn7fUgCs.
You’ll see the couple, Yashi founders Jay and Caitlin Gould, who began with a great idea and gave up steady jobs to start a company out of their house. They grew that startup it into a thriving powerhouse in an unlikely spot: Toms River, on the Jersey shore.
This week Yashi announced its exit. The company said that 100 percent of its stock has been acquired by Nexstar Broadcasting Group (Irving, Texas) for $33 million.
“At Yashi, we now have the opportunity to leverage the national scale of a major local media company to accelerate the momentum of our high-growth company,” Jay Gould, now president of Yashi, told NJTechWeekly.com.
“The main office for the company will continue to be Toms River and we look forward to growing our revenues and our team. The team that built Yashi is staying with the company, and will continue to be the vision and the leadership that help Yashi continue its rapid growth.”
Nexstar said that Yashi will continue to operate its growing business as a division of Nexstar’s digital media portfolio.
Yashi has a proprietary technology platform that delivers a one-stop digital advertising solution, integrating geographic, demographic, and other data-driven targeting tools with real-time bidding, allowing advertisers to plan, buy, measure and optimize their ad campaigns in real time.
It’s obvious that Yashi has been strategically thinking about an exit for a while. In 2014, Aaron Cohen, then chief operating officer at Yashi, wrote a stern blog post called 6 Rules for Building a Tech Company on the Jersey Shore.
The post underscored Yashi’s commitment to growth, but clearly foreshadowed the company’s exit.
“Make sure people understand what a major exit can do for a region that seeks economic development,” wrote Cohen. “All over America communities need to be reinvented and technology sector jobs must be created. If Yashi produces $100mm exit [ed. note: it did not], that could lead to several offspring. Before you know it, an entrepreneurial ecosystem will be born. When you’re the only scalable tech company down the shore, you can’t afford to fail. Stakes are higher than any one employee’s ability to buy a house or car. We can create hundreds of jobs for a region that must transform in order to thrive.”
In a statement Jay Gould said, “Nexstar’s growing scale and broad array of digital media assets will help Yashi fulfill its vision to bring online video advertising to local businesses throughout the United States. We are excited about working with the digital media teams at Nexstar as we continue to cement our place as leaders in location-focused online video advertising for national and local brands utilizing our real-time programmatic technology.”
During its startup stage, Yashi went through four rounds of funding totaling $7.3 million, according to the company’s CrunchBase profile. Silicon Valley Bank and PNC Bank participated in the company’s 2014 $4 million debt financing round.