After closing on a $125 million fund in the fall, Cambridge-based Causeway Media Partners has made its first investment into a prominent local tech company by leading a $12 million round for Boston ad tech firm SessionM.
The founders of both Causeway and SessionM are well-known in their respective industries—Causeway founder and managing director Wyc Grousbeck is also the principal owner of the Boston Celtics, while SessionM CEO Lars Albright left as an executive at Apple to start the Boston ad tech company in 2011.
Causeway describes its focus as “investments in technology and media relating to sports.” In that vein, Grousbeck said in a news release that SessionM “is helping Fortune 500 companies gain essential advantages by maximizing their mobile strategy. At the Celtics, and across sports properties generally, that passionate personal relationship between a fan and the team has been greatly improved by data and technology.”
SessionM provides software for customer loyalty services that companies integrate into their mobile offerings. For instance, SessionM was behind the Japanese tech giant Rakuten’s expansion of its mobile loyalty program, “Rakuten Super Points,” in Japan, according to the SessionM website.
SessionM has now raised about $38 million. Along with Causeway, investors in the new round included new backers NTT Docomo Capital and Commerce Ventures, along with existing investors Highland Capital Partners, Charles River Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
The money “will allow SessionM to roll out its new enterprise solutions faster and execute on a growing number of major multi-year deals,” the company said in the news release.
Previous investments by Causeway Media Partners have included SeatGeek, Formula E and FloSports.