Everyone universally agrees that data is the new gold. Virtually every single company we come across wants to become more data-driven, as they recognise that data is key to unlocking more customer value and becoming more efficient and effective. This is especially true for marketers, who are dealing with large amounts of data and increasing complexity of the marketing stack. We have spent a long time at Felix trying to understand technologies that are being created to help marketers handle this complexity, and today we are so pleased to announce that we have led a €11 million series B round of funding in Adverity, Vienna-based marketing data intelligence platform. We are also extremely excited to be joined on this journey by existing investors in Adverity, Mangrove, Speedinvest, 42 Capital and AWS Grunderfonds, and new investors, SAP.io and Sapphire Ventures.
Adverity displays so many characteristics of what we love at Felix!
Mission-driven founders with big ideas and global ambitions
At Felix we are extremely founder-driven, aiming to back mission-led founders with big ideas and global ambitions. Adverity was founded by exactly these kinds of founders. When Alex, Martin and Andreas founded Adverity in 2015, they recognised companies’ increasing desire to be data driven, while being confronted with an ever-growing number of channels through which to collect customer data. They experienced many of these pain points themselves, and they set out to create a technology that would help companies tackle this data complexity and revolutionise data-driven marketing.
Laser focus on product as key to winning customers
As tech investors we know that product is everything, and having a strong focus on product excellence is what differentiates winning companies. Adverity’s laser focus on product was palpable when we had our first product demo and we continued building greater conviction on product especially after talking to many enthusiastic customers!
Adverity has developed two main products, DataTap, which automates the integration of data, and Insight, which also harmonises and integrates data, presenting it via easy-to-interpret dashboards and interfaces. Much of the hard work of data analysis that marketing professionals previously struggled to master is now automated and easy. Marketers can see data from different platforms alongside each other in a glance. Brands benefit from greater flexibility, aided in no small part by a general shift to faster, more efficient cloud systems. Put simply, Adverity is making data analysis more nimble, reliable, responsive and productive.
Building a global business from Austria
We’ve been so impressed by the team’s execution, doing a lot with little. The business has grown from its home base in Austria, opening an office in the UK in 2018 and winning global customers, including in the US, where they plan to open an office in the near future. Adverity now boasts dozens of customers across the world, including IKEA, Runtastic, Essity, Reprise Media, OMD, Mindshare and Omnicom. The company has grown rapidly and more than doubled revenues in 2018, adding loyal customers at a rapid pace. This growth has been achieved extremely capital efficiently, with “magic numbers” that are truly magical!
Operating in a market with strong growth trends
The market Adverity operates in is set to continue growing quickly. More marketers are relying on marketing technology, with CMOs now devoting 29% of their budget to martech, according to the latest Gartner CMO Spend Survey, up from 22% the year before. This creates a tremendous opportunity for Adverity to help more customers to manage data complexity and truly understand their marketing investment. No wonder that two of the most important themes for us at Felix are “power of data” and “tech-enablement of CMO” — we are very passionate about these two themes!
Since many of the companies in Felix Capital’s portfolio are consumer-facing, relying on data to understand and serve their customers, the synergy with Adverity was clear to us from the beginning. We are also huge believers in technology’s ability to help companies build better consumer propositions in general, and this has been the thesis behind many of our B2B investments such as Olapic, Mirakl, Yoobic and Unmade. We are also excited to back an Austrian business, our first investment in the country, and look forward to supporting the team’s continued success in the years to come!
Sasha and the Felix team
|GP Bullhound acted as exclusive financial advisor to Dudnyk, a Philadelphia-based healthcare marketing communications agency, on its sale to the Fishawack Group of Companies, one of the world’s leading independent healthcare communication specialists, based in Manchester, UK.
Independently owned for the past 25 years, Dudnyk is an award-winning, full-service agency that specializes in creating insight-driven, authentic brand experiences that unite specialty physicians and their patients.
Dudnyk President, Christopher Tobias, commented: “By joining forces with Fishawack, Dudnyk will be able to offer clients an even stronger service offering, including expertise in additional verticals like scientific communications and medical education. We are also excited to further expand our global capabilities, both commercially and medically, for our clients who operate on a scale outside of the US.”
Oliver Schweitzer, Executive Director at GP Bullhound, commented: “Dudnyk combines strategic, scientific and highly creative capabilities to bring to market life-changing brands and serve clients in the biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries. We are delighted to have advised Dudnyk and to have helped them find the ideal partner for the next phase of growth.”
The transaction is further testament to GP Bullhound’s expertise in advising category leaders in the Digital and Marketing Services sectors, with more than 20 transactions completed in the last 24 months including the sales of Oliver to You & Mr Jones, Filter to Merkle, Kepler Group to KYU, and Solita to Apax Digital, among many others.
About GP Bullhound
|GP Bullhound acted as exclusive financial advisor to Method Communications, a technology PR and marketing agency based in San Francisco and Salt Lake City, on its sale to Chime Communications Group, the global sport, entertainment and communications group. Through the acquisition, Method will become part of the Chime Specialist Group, a family of best-in-class agencies that are challenging traditional agency models.
David Parkinson, CEO of Method, commented: “We are thrilled to be part of Chime and anticipate a phenomenal partnership as we move forward. GP Bullhound’s deep expertise and global network in the digital marketing sector proved invaluable in helping us find the right partner and was instrumental in making this process a success.”
Adam Birnbaum, Director at GP Bullhound, commented: “It was a pleasure to have advised Method in this strategic transaction with Chime. Method’s unique expertise and approach has enabled them to become one of the most recognized technology agencies in the U.S. and will fit very well within Chime. Method’s impressive client roster of leading technology companies will benefit from the breadth of Chime’s capabilities.”
The transaction is further testament to GP Bullhound’s expertise in advising category leaders in the digital services sector, with more than 20 transactions completed in the last 24 months including the sales of Oliver to You & Mr Jones, Namics to Merkle, Kepler Group to KYU, Solita to Apax Digital, and Karmarama to Accenture, among many others.
About GP Bullhound
Investment in global provider of high-growth digital advertising technology
International private equity firm, Cinven, today announces that it has signed an agreement to invest in RTB House (‘the Company’), a leading global provider of state-of-the-art retargeting technology for leading brands, for an undisclosed consideration.
Headquartered in Warsaw, Poland, RTB House is leveraging deep learning algorithms in order to enable its retail clients to deliver highly relevant digital advertising campaigns to potential customers who have displayed a purchase intent. RTB House has a blue-chip customer base of close to 1,500 clients worldwide including Adidas, Trivago, Orange and Walmart. Established in 2012, RTB House has global operations with 20 offices worldwide and employs more than 400 people across EMEA, APAC and the Americas.
RTB House has achieved several awards for its strong growth and innovative technology. In 2018, RTB House won The AIconics Award in Best Application of Artificial Intelligence (‘AI’) for Sales & Marketing; and was named by the Financial Times as the 8th fastest growing company in the technology sector in Europe.
Cinven’s TMT Sector team worked closely with its Emerging Europe Regional team to develop this primary investment opportunity, given the following attractive attributes:
- Strong structural growth trends in the global digital advertising software market;
- Innovative application of AI;
- Blue-chip customer base of leading brands globally;
- Opportunity to accelerate the Company’s growth organically; and
- Excellent management team, led by Robert Dyczkowski, Chief Executive, Bartłomiej Romański, Chief Technology Officer, Daniel Surmacz, Chief Operating Officer, and Wojciech Głowacki, VP of Sales, with a proven execution track record and significant sector technology experience in advertising and e-commerce.
Cinven’s strategy for RTB House is to work alongside the industry leading management team to:
- Further internationalise the business drawing on Cinven’s presence in the US;
- Continue investing in the Company’s cutting edge technology;
- Selectively pursue value- accretive buy and build acquisitions; and
- Further professionalise the business with international best practices.
Chris Good, Partner at Cinven, said:
“RTB House is a very exciting business that has demonstrated significant growth, has a strong blue-chip client base, and impressive market-leading technology.
“We look forward to working with the highly talented management team to further grow the business internationally, both organically and through acquisitions. There are particularly exciting growth opportunities in North America where Cinven has previously successfully grown technology-related businesses including CPA Global.”
Adam Prindis, Principal at Cinven, added:
“RTB House operates in a highly dynamic and fast-growing segment of the technology sector. As e-commerce continues to grow, retailers are focusing increasingly on ways to improve their marketing mix with retargeting playing a very important role. We are very excited about the investment in RTB House which offers truly differentiated solutions, based on advanced AI.”
Robert Dyczkowski and Bartłomiej Romański, CEO and CTO of RTB House, commented:
“We are delighted to be working with Cinven. The team’s expertise in the TMT sector, as well as Cinven’s clear ability of working with companies to internationalise their businesses, will immensely benefit RTB House. We will continue to invest in our state-of-the art and innovative technology to drive the Company’s business performance.”
Paweł Chodaczek, the Company’s co-founder and lead investor prior to the transaction, added:
“I am proud of the remarkable success that Robert, Bartłomiej and the whole RTB House team have achieved and that I have had the pleasure to support them at the challenging earliest stages. Cinven’s investment is a sign of not only great appreciation for the team’s efforts so far, but also a unique chance to boost the company’s further growth.”
The transaction is subject to customary regulatory and antitrust approvals.
Advisors to Cinven on the transaction included: Clifford Chance, Deloitte, Medialink, Prohaska, RBC Capital Markets and Vienna Capital Partners.
Advisors to the Company and Shareholders on the transaction included: CC Group and Weil.
|GP Bullhound acted as the financial advisor to Inside Ideas Group, the owner of in-house agency specialist OLIVER, on its majority sale to global Brandtech group You & Mr Jones.
OLIVER pioneered the in-house model that is reshaping the marketing landscape by creating dedicated in-house capabilities which operate from within their clients’ organisations.
Founded in 2004, OLIVER and Inside Ideas Group have grown to 1,500 staff working in 146 in-house teams across 36 countries, with annual revenues of more than $150 million. Inside Ideas Group clients include Unilever, Adidas, Marriott, BMW, Microsoft, Virgin Media, 3M, Barclaycard, Google, Manulife, PepsiCo and AXA.
Simon Martin, founder and CEO of Inside Ideas Group commented: “We had a great deal of interest in our business, but for us the opportunity to connect our in-house model to the world’s leading marketing technology platform was by far the most interesting. We chose to work with GP Bullhound because they are the leading global dealmaker in the digital services arena and they delivered exactly the deal we wanted.”
Simon Nicholls, Partner at GP Bullhound commented: “The delivery of marketing services is seeing material disruption from both new entrants and new business models, like OLIVER’s, designed ground-up for the multi-channel and always-on digital age. OLIVER is a true pioneer and category leader and I expect its rapid growth to accelerate as part of You & Mr Jones.”
The transaction is further testament to GP Bullhound’s expertise in advising category leaders in the Digital Services sector, with more than 20 transactions completed in this sector in the last 24 months including the sales of Namics to Merkle, Solita to Apax Digital, Wongdoody to Infosys, and Kepler to Kyu among many others.
About GP Bullhound
|Headquartered in Copenhagen, Falcon.io offers an integrated SaaS platform for social media listening, engaging, publishing, measuring, advertising and managing customer data. The Company enables its clients to explore the full potential of digital marketing by managing multiple customer touchpoints from one platform. Falcon.io’s diverse and global client portfolio includes Carlsberg, Toyota, William Grant & Sons, Momondo, Panasonic, Coca-Cola, and many more.
Cision Ltd. (NYSE: CISN) is a leading global provider of earned media software and services to public relations and marketing communications professionals. By adding Falcon’s social marketing solutions to the Cision portfolio, Cision will allow industry professionals to execute sophisticated social media campaigns across paid, owned, and earned media that spans the entire customer journey.
“Social media is core to today’s customer experience, with nearly 2.5 billion users. At Falcon.io, we take pride in providing world-class brands with our leading social media marketing solution,” said Ulrik Bo Larsen, Falcon.io founder and CEO. “GP Bullhound was an outstanding advisor to us, with excellent sector knowledge and creative ideas throughout the entire process. Their team remained dedicated to delivering an outstanding result and we could not have achieved this outcome without the GP Bullhound team.”
Jonathan Cantwell, Director at GP Bullhound, commented: “Having known the Company and team for several years, we are thrilled to have advised Falcon in this important transaction. Cision and Falcon will be a force in the marketing comms and social space for a long time.”
This marks GP Bullhound’s 10th software transaction in the last twelve months and highlights the firm’s track record of working with leading SaaS companies globally. Selected previous transactions include Synthesio (sold to Ipsos), Rant & Rave (sold to Upland Software), Extenda (sold to STG Partners), TextRecruit (sold to iCIMS), and many others.
About GP Bullhound
The strategic partnership between Ardian Growth and FiloBlu aims to accelerate the growth of the company by strengthening its organization and implementing an ambitious business strategy for the next three years. This partnership will lead to increased investments in research, innovation and training, while expanding FiloBlu’s international presence.
Christian Nucibella, founder of FiloBlu, said: “This partnership with a prestigious and world-leading investment house such as Ardian is an extraordinary opportunity for FiloBlu to strengthen our organization and achieve stronger growth. We will look to improve our ability to offer our clients and partners innovative services and cutting-edge technologies, helping them expand their business in the increasingly global marketplace and take advantage of the range of opportunities for growth offered by digital transformation.”
Laurent Foata, Managing Director of Ardian Growth, stated: “By carrying out this initiative alongside Christian Nucibella, we’re showing our desire to become a leading partner of companies like FiloBlu, which has put into practice an effective growth model on an international scale.”
Bertrand Schapiro, Senior Investment Manager at Ardian Growth, added: “After having combined profitability with very fast organic growth, FiloBlu is starting a new stage of its growth. We are pleased to support the company on its journey of further international expansion.”
The agreement comes at a particularly positive period for FiloBlu, which was recently awarded by Deloitte as one of the “Best Managed Companies” in Italy, and among the fastest-growing European digital companies, making Deloitte’s “Technology Fast 500 EMEA” ranking three years in a row since 2015. The company has also been ranked amongst the “Financial Times: 1000 Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies” for two years in a row since 2017.
Ardian on Twitter @Ardian
LIST OF PARTIES INVOLVED
Financial Advisor: Buttignon Zotti Milan & Co (Fabio Buttignon, Antonio Zotti, Lucia Scarpari)
Ardian : Laurent Foata, Bertrand Schapiro
Legal Advisor: Giovannelli e Associati (Fabrizio Scaparro, Paola Cairoli, Matilde Finucci)
Financial Advisor : KPMG Italy (Fabrizio Scaparro, Paola Cairoli, Matilde Finucci)
Berlin, November 1st 2017 – The Berlin-based marketing technology company CrossEngage will receive additional funding of 5 million euros. After its successful foundation in July 2015 and subsequent 7-digit seed financing round at the beginning of 2016, the company is attracting new investors and additional ownership interests from existing shareholders. The new round of financing will be led by Vorwerk Ventures as a new shareholder, as well as the existing investor Earlybird Venture Capital. The existing investors Project A, VC Fonds Kreativwirtschaft which is managed by IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Cavalry Ventures, 42 Capital, Capnamic Ventures, Ventech and TA Ventures are also increasing their holdings.
In the last two years, the Berlin-based company has focused on product development and grown into a leading customer data platform on the German market. CrossEngage technology enables advertisers to reach their target audiences through individualised messages and automated selection and combination of marketing channels. User data from online and offline marketing channels are summarised and evaluated in real time. This enables marketers to immediately implement consistent campaigns across all marketing channels. Customers such as Contorion, BodyChange, HelloFresh and Deutsche Bahn Vertriebs GmbH are already working successfully with the CrossEngage solution.
The two founders Dr. Markus Wübben and Manuel Hinz are now using the new capital from this financing round to expand their international business and further develop the technology. The aim is to further optimise the platform and offer an even more effective cross-channel marketing approach by applying artificial intelligence, especially on an international level. CrossEngage has been active on the UK market since September 2017. Dan McKinnon, Head of Sales UK, is responsible for customer expansion in London.
US market researcher Gartner published its annual analysis report on business technologies in August 2017. 32 trends were analysed in the “Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising”. Gartner already described customer data platforms as an up-and-coming, innovative solution for marketers in last year’s report. In the current report, the market researcher emphasises the benefits of bundling all customer data within a customer data platform as the basis for effective and flexible marketing. The challenge and at the same time the pressure for marketers to have a 360° customer view for a relevant and personalised cross-device and cross-channel address is currently at its peak. CrossEngage is the pioneer in the German market for this trend.
Norbert Muschong, General Manager Vorwerk Ventures, comments: “We see strong growth potential in CrossEngage and are convinced by its technological know-how. We believe that the start-up’s technology can also compete internationally and we are therefore very optimistic that the company will continue to establish itself strongly in the coming year”.
Dr. Florian Heinemann, Partner at Project A, adds: “Within the last two years, CrossEngage has developed an effective and competitive MarTech platform, which offers real orchestration of marketing tools and, above all, has already convinced well-known customers. We are pleased about the success and look forward to continuing to accompany the Berlin team on its way into the international market”.
CrossEngage is a leading customer data platform for cross-channel campaign management. The technology enables customer loyalty and thus increases marketing profitability through personalised, real-time campaigns across all channels. Customers include Deutsche Bahn Vertrieb, HelloFresh, Contorion, BodyChange, Stylefile, Friendsurance and Mycs. In addition to Vorwerk Ventures, Project A, Earlybird Venture Capital, VC Fonds Kreativwirtschaft managed by IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Capnamic Ventures, Ventech, 42 Capital and Cavalry Ventures, the sponsors include numerous business angels who are prominent in the field. The Berlin location currently employs 45 people. www.crossengage.io
Paris – October 2nd 2017 – Ardian, the independent private investment company, today announces the sale of its stake in TimeOne, the independent French leader in digital marketing, to Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners’ ActoMezz investment team.
Ralph Ruimy, co-founder of TimeOne, sells its stakes and Sylvain Gross, co-founder of TimeOne, becomes Group CEO. Sylvain Gross and the Group managers strongly increase their stake.
TimeOne was created as a result of the merger of Public-Idées and Place des Leads in 2016, with the support of Ardian Growth. Following the transaction, TimeOne cemented its position as an independent French leader in online marketing in France, with a consolidated turnover of nearly €50 million.
Specialising in data analytics, the company’s activity is structured around three priorities: Content, Data and Technologies. TimeOne covers all stages of the client conversion funnel (reputation, engagement, conversion, re-purchase) via its online marketing solutions: Performance, Mobile, Lead Management Technology, Native, Social, Programmatic and Publishing.
In addition to France, the Group is present in the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Asia, and South America.
Through close collaboration between Ardian Growth and the TimeOne management team, the Group successfully adopted a new identity, integrated technological solutions and developed a complete service offering, while maintaining steady and profitable growth of over 10%.
Sylvain Gross, CEO of TimeOne Group, said: “With the support of Ardian Growth, TimeOne has undergone transformational change. We look forward to working with Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners as TimeOne continues to realise its ambitious growth plans.”
Romain Chiudini, Senior Investment Manager at Ardian Growth, added: “We are pleased to have supported the founding team in the development of TimeOne Group. It was an important stage in which we played a key role as a strategic partner. As ever, it was also important to us that the management team had the right resources to maintain the company’s growth dynamic after the sale, which will certainly be the case with a partner like Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners.”
Ralph Ruimy, co-founder of TimeOne said: “I’m delighted to sell my stake to leading investors as Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners and wish every success to my former partners and colleagues.”
Arnaud Faure, Deputy Director at ActoMezz within Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, added: “We are convinced that TimeOne has the strong basis needed to pursue its development in France but also abroad. Its Data Marketing Platform, unique technological expertise across all its activities, and its numerous innovations have propelled the company to become a leader within the digital marketing sector. Together with the management, our ambition is to grow the turnover to over €70 million in four years.”
TimeOne is an innovative Marketing Services group. The Group’s activities are structured around three priorities: Content – Data – Technologies. By combining expertise in content creation, machine learning, prescriptive marketing, performance and real-time activation, TimeOne is adding new value to media. With a well-established reputation in prescriptive marketing and a common technological base (DMP), TimeOne is founded on strong innovation made possible through its substantial Research and Development activity. TimeOne covers all online marketing solutions: Performance, Mobile, Lead Management Technology, Native, Social, Programmatic and Publishing. The Group is present in France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Asia and South America.
ABOUT EDMOND DE ROTHSCHILD INVESTMENT PARTNERS
About Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners
Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, a leading firm in the area of unlisted investment, manages over €1.8bn in life sciences (BioDiscovery), growth capital and succession (Winch Capital for mid caps and Cabestan Capital for small caps) and mezzanine financing (ActoMezz).
Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners will continue to raise funds in its current segments, soon bringing its assets under management to more than €2bn. Based in Paris, Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners is a firm with 58 employees of which 40 are investment professionals. It is 51% owned by the Edmond de Rothschild Group and 49% owned by the management company’s partners and employees.
ActoMezz is a team of eight investors who support via mezzanine and minority capital (i) the management teams of French small-mid-cap SMEs valued between €15m and €200m in their efforts to take over the majority shareholding of their company (sponsorless transaction) or in the financing of their development and (ii) investment funds via mezzanine sponsor transactions. With €700m under management, ActoMezz has carried out 37 transactions since its creation in 2006 and invests €5m to €45m per transaction.
Ardian, founded in 1996 and led by Dominique Senequier, is an independent private investment company with assets of US$65bn managed or advised in Europe, North America and Asia. The company, which is majority- owned by its employees, keeps entrepreneurship at its heart and delivers investment performance to its global investors while fuelling growth in economies across the world. Ardian’s investment process embodies three values: excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship. Ardian maintains a truly global network, with more than 470 employees working through twelve offices in Paris, London, Frankfurt, Milan, Madrid, Zurich, New York, San Francisco, Beijing, Singapore, Jersey, Luxembourg. The company offers its 610 investors a diversified choice of funds covering the full range of asset classes, including Ardian Funds of Funds (primary, early secondary and secondary), Ardian Private Debt, Ardian Buyout (including Ardian Mid Cap Buyout Europe & North America, Ardian Expansion, Ardian Growth and Ardian Co-Investment), Ardian Infrastructure, Ardian Real Estate and Ardian Mandates.
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
Ardian: Laurent Foata, Romain Chiudini
Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners: Arnaud Faure, Christine Martinovic, Antoine Soucaze
TimeOne: Sylvain Gross, Ralph Ruimy
Banks: LCL (Chloé Fournier, Laurent Suscosse), Crédit du Nord (Pierre Delorme), Caisse Epargne Ile de France (Philippe De Oliveira, Julien Jonasson), BNPP (Hélène Faure, Amélie Roseandrieux, David Eyraud)
Investment banker: DC Advisory (François Prioux, Alexis Baron, Timothée Héron)
Lawyers: McDermott Will & Emery (Diana Hund, Marie-Muriel Barthelet, Claire Barra)
Tax: McDermott Will & Emery (Antoine Vergnat, Romain Desmonts)
Financing: McDermott Will & Emery (Pierre-Arnoux Mayoly, Benjamin Briand, Alice Beral)
Social: McDermott Will & Emery (Myrtille Lapuelle)
Financial review: KPMG (Antoine Bernabeu, Guillaume Staal, David Martinet)
Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners Advisors:
Legal: Hogan Lovells (Stéphane Huten, Florian Brechon, Sarah Naidji)
Tax: Hogan Lovells (Bruno Knadjian, Laurent Ragot)
Social: Hogan Lovells (Thierry Meillat, Alexandra Tuil)
Financing: Hogan Lovells (Alexander Premont, Guergana Zabounova, Isabelle Rivallin)
Strategic: Neovian (Patrick Richer, Kevin Bailey)
Financial: ACA Nexia (Hervé Krissi, Olivier Duval, Maxime Grélou)
Legal: CBCH Associés (Chukri Serhal, Carole Geara)
- TOM JAMES
- Tel: +44 207 3675 240