Microsoft, Verizon-backed startup rolls out ad tech to 2,500 Walgreens stores
Cooler Screens, a tech startup that replaces refrigerator doors with digital advertising displays, has raised about $80 million in new funding from some heavyweight investors.
Microsoft and Verizon led the investment, along with Great Point Ventures, a venture fund run by serial tech entrepreneur Andrew Perlman.
Walgreens began testing the technology a year ago and says it will expand use of Cooler Screens to 2,500 stores. The technology allows makers of beverages and other items found in coolers to display the products inside and serve up promotions to customers. The display can be customized rapidly, not unlike a digital billboard.
Chicago-based Cooler Screens was founded two years ago by former Argo Tea CEO Arsen Avakian, former Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson and Glen Tullman, former CEO of Allscripts and Livongo.
"We've been in stealth mode since inception—learning, innovating and developing our platform to ensure we are effectively winning with consumers, brands and retailers," Avakian said in a statement.
The company says it’s also working with other players in the grocery and convenience store industry, including Kroger and GetGo. Cooler Screens has 50 employees and is in the process of hiring 25 more. It has raised more than $100 million.