Savveo, a new web portal and service that will target the $445 billion local advertising market, is gearing up for launch this fall with $2 million in the bank.

The new venture emerged from stealth mode on Monday, announcing it had raised $2 million in a first round of venture capital.

Among the backers is David Jones, founder and chief executive officer of growing data hosting and services firm Peak 10.

Savveo is the brainchild of the team that founded, which serves as a broke for discounted ad inventory. It also is based in Charlotte.

Savveo derives from the word savvy, the company says.

Its leaders believe Savveo technology can deliver advertisers effective means of promoting products and services across print, radio, TV and other media in thousands of local markets.

“Local advertising is one of the most effective ways for businesses to reach their prospective customers, but the way it’s done today is wildly inefficient and frustrating,” said Shafi Mustafa, Savveo’s chief executive officer and founder of “There are more than 34,000 local media outlets in the U.S., but would-be advertisers – whether businesses or ad agencies – don’t have anywhere to go for a single, consolidated view of the advertising outlets available to them, and they certainly don’t have a single place to go to buy and track advertising across those outlets. That’s the problem Savveo solves.”

Other investors and backers of Savveo in addition to Jones  include:

  • Tim Biltz, chairman of Savveo’s board of directors and CEO of Lumos Networks
  • ;Sayoko Teitelbaum, co-founder of Toura
  • Simon Clark, senior partner at Engine UK;
  • Baycrest Capital

Other individuals also participated in the funding.

Steve Villa, who has served as CEO at Muzak in the past, is co-founder and president of Savveo.

“The opportunity here is enormous,” said Villa. “In 2011, the total global expenditure on local advertising was almost $450 billion. In the U.S. alone, it topped $137 billion. To date, no one has done the hard work to aggregate, categorize and productize that ad inventory – especially the offline ad inventory which accounts for 91 percent of the spend. We believe the market will amply reward the first company that does so, and we intend for Savveo to be that company.”

Savveo is based in Charlotte and has a development office in San Mateo, Calif.