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January 31, 2019

Dream Local Digital raises $725K of early stage venture capital

Photo / Mainebiz archives, Amber Waterman
Photo / Mainebiz archives, Amber Waterman
Shannon Kinney, founder and client success officer of Dream Local Digital, announced that the Rockland-based company completed a $725,000 Series A round of financing in an oversubscribed round co-led by CEI Ventures with Maine Venture Fund, Maine Technology Institute, Bangor Angels and other individual investors from Maine Angels.

About Dream Local Digital

Founded in 2009, Dream Local Digital is a digital marketing agency specializing in interactive media, marketing, social media, advertising, reputation and brand management and SEO. It works with publishers, media companies, ad agencies and directly with businesses on all aspects of online marketing plans, from website development, content strategy and social media to search engine optimization, paid ads for search and social networks, reputation management and email marketing.

About CEI and CVI

Coastal Enterprises Inc. and CEI Ventures Inc. integrate financing, business and industry expertise, and policy solutions to increase good jobs, advance environmentally sustainable enterprises, and grow more broadly shared prosperity in Maine and other rural regions. CVI is the venture capital subsidiary of CEI and manages socially responsible venture capital funds. CEI and CVI are committed to building an economy that works for everyone, particularly people with low incomes, women, minorities and people of color.

Dream Local Digital, a fast-growing digital marketing company based in Rockland, completed a $725,000 Series A round of financing in an oversubscribed round co-led by CEI Ventures with Maine Venture Fund, Maine Technology Institute, Bangor Angels and other individual investors from Maine Angels.

The investment will enable the woman-led company to expand into new markets, add products and hire new staff at its Rockland headquarters as well as remotely, according to a news release.

Founded by Shannon Kinney, who was honored by Mainebiz in 2013 as a "Woman to Watch," Dream Local Digital delivers a suite of products and services to small and medium-sized businesses nationally — including social media management and advertising, search engine optimization and advertising, website development, strategic planning, display advertising, email marketing, mobile marketing and video. It works directly with customers and through a national reseller network made up largely of media companies.

"We have a validated and nationally scalable model. With this round, we can now invest in sales and marketing to reach more customers nationwide and create more jobs," said Kinney, Dream Local Digital's client success officer. "We are proud to be in the CVI portfolio and help fulfill their important mission to bring quality jobs and shared prosperity to rural communities."

Dream Local Digital, an early adopter of online marketing, recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.

The company stated that its decade of experience gives it a proven model, positioning it for further growth in an exploding field. It works in 65 markets nationwide and will use the investment to add 19 new jobs to its 40-person roster of full-time employees. From this investment, the company has created and filled a chief revenue officer role, hiring Ron Belyea, former digital director of the Sarasota Herald Tribune and former vice president and COO of VillageSoup Media in Rockland.

"Ron's deep experience in media and working directly with clients selling digital solutions will make him a tremendous asset for our media partners, and I look forward to getting out in the field with him," Kinney said in a post on the company's website. "We have significant growth goals ahead of us, and I'm confident that as a team, we can hit them."

Maine Startups Insider reported that the company originally was seeking $500,000 in the round, which consisted of debt and convertible notes.

"Dream Local Digital is widely known as the best in the business for delivering online marketing, particularly social media marketing and SEO, at scale," said Nat Henshaw, managing director of CEI Ventures. "That, coupled with the company's rapid growth, dynamic market transformation and hiring forecast fits our mission of building an economy that works for everyone."

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