ST. LOUIS, MO.: Antennas Direct, the Midwestern firm that sold 100,000 antennas a month in the wake of the DTV transition, is in talks with a potential investor, the St. Louis Business Journalreports. Company president, Richard Schneider, said Antennas Direct is in talks with Warson Capital Partners in Frontenac, Mo., to raise $5 million to $10 million for part ownership of the company. Schneider said new funding was needed for research and development, up to now paid for out of cash flow.
The company’s sales more than doubled year-over-year to $7.5 million in 2009 when the DTV transition finally concluded after years of delays. Sales were $3.4 million in 2008. Schneider told the Journal that demand remains strong because of escalating cable rates. Sales of $10 million are projected for 2010.
The company just bought a 7,100-square-foot facility outside of St. Louis, where it’s investing $1 million to create a research lab. It employs 27 people; Schneider said at least one more engineer would be added.
Antennas Direct sells online and through Best Buy, Target and Costco among others. The company went on a tour of TV stations as the DTV transition approached last June to help raise awareness and help folks hook up the rabbit ears. KUSA-TV in Denver said that Schneider was recently in town to give away antennas for promoting over-the-air reception in the days before the Winter Olympic Games.
“We’re frustrated that people don’t realize that you can get all these additional new channels that you could not get a year ago,” he told the station. “And you can get a better picture quality and the word just isn’t getting out. So we figured if we could give away a few hundred antennas in each city, that’s going to get the word out.”
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