Unruly gets $25M to fuel global expansion
Unruly (London, UK), prover of a global technology platform for social video advertising, has announced a $25 million Series A investment from Amadeus Capital Partners, Van den Ende & Deitmers and Business Growth Fund. The financing is the largest ever for a private company in the social video space and will be used to accelerate international growth and cement Unruly’s position as the global leader in this fast-growing area.
With a revenue run-rate approaching $5M (2011 full year revenue $25 million) and profitable since 2009, Unruly has 100 staff across nine offices and is doubling in size each year. The company has delivered a number of high profile social video campaigns for global brands, including Evian’s “Roller Babies,” T-Mobile’s “Life’s for Sharing,” Coca Cola’s “Happiness Factory” series and Old Spice’s “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign.
Across the industry, social video campaigns generated 2.7 billion views in 2010, more than 8 billion views in 2011 and are predicted to generate 20 billion views in 2012.
Brands and agencies have quickly recognized the power of social video to make an emotional connection with their audience, influence consumers and ignite conversations. However, media fragmentation and device proliferation make it extremely difficult to do this at the scale they require. Unruly solves this problem by providing a truly global media and technology platform for social video advertising that reaches 725 million people across 74 countries.
Today represents an important milestone for the company and social video as a whole,” said Unruly founder and Group CEO Scott Button. “Five years ago, we set out to help brands capture the massive opportunity in social video and we’re delighted that such a distinguished group of investors share our conviction.
Founded in 2006 and headquartered in London, Unruly is the global platform for social video advertising. With offices in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, London, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Sydney, Unruly has delivered, tracked and audited 1.34 billion video views and executed 1,400+ successful social video campaigns for global brands and agencies including T-Mobile’s acclaimed Life’s for Sharing series, Evian’s global Roller Babies hit, Old Spice’s game-changing “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign and Coke’s Happiness series.
In 2011, the company received several prestigious business awards, including the UK National Business Awards’ “Growth Strategy of the Year” and the Chamber Awards’ “UK Business of the Year.” Founder and Group CEO Scott Button was also named “Digital Innovator of the Year” by the Growing Business Awards and COO Sarah Wood was crowned “Female Entrepreneur of the Year” award by the Fast Growth Business Awards.
Since 2006, the company has delivered, tracked and audited 1.34 billion user-intended video views and executed 1,400+ successful social video campaigns for some of the world’s leading global brands, including Old Spice, Electronic Arts, adidas, Unilever, T-Mobile and Coca-Cola.
Unruly’s proprietary technology, RAMP (Real-time Amplification and Measurement Platform), powers the entire social video campaign lifecycle and their Viral Video Chart is widely recognized as the Billboard Hot 100 of the Internet generation. Unruly is a whitelisted Facebook partner and its video ad charts are syndicated to major outlets, including Mashable, The Guardian, Adweek, Die Welt and the IAB.
Unruly’s proprietary technology platform and aggressive global growth strategy in a fast-growing market is really impressive,” said Richard Anton, Partner at Amadeus Capital Partners. “We are delighted to be supporting the company build on its success, bringing our experience of building a number of international marketing and advertising technology companies, including Celltick, ComQi and EPiServer.
About Amadeus Capital Partners
Amadeus Capital Partners is one of Europe’s leading technology venture capital firms, with £500m under management. Since its inception in 1997, the firm has backed nearly 70 companies in industries that include communications and networking hardware and software, cleantech, medtech, computer hardware and software, media, and e-commerce. Major businesses built by the firm include CSR plc (LSE:CSR), the leading producer of single chip bluetooth radios for short range connections, Solexa Ltd, the developer of next generation genetic analysis systems, merged into Illumina, Inc. (ILMN) to create the world-leader in gene-sequencing technology and Transmode, a networking solutions business that had an over-subscribed IPO on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm in May 2011. For more information, please visit www.amadeuscapital.com.
In a short space of time, Unruly has played a major role in the explosive growth of social video and this investment gives it additional firepower,” said Marion Bernard, Regional Director of BGF. “We look forward to working with the company and our co-investors to take advantage of the very significant global expansion opportunities. BGF is working in partnership with other investors to expand the pool of investment capital to growing and ambitious UK companies as a key part of developing the entrepreneurial economy
About Business Growth Fund
Business Growth Fund has been established to help Britain’s fast growing smaller and medium sized businesses. Growth potential is the key criteria. BGF will invest between £2m and £10m per business in return for a minimum 10 per cent equity stake and a seat on the board for a BGF director. It will provide long-term equity investment for those growing companies that today do not have access to this source of capital. As such BGF hopes to be a catalyst for growth among smaller UK companies.BGF is an independent company with capital of up to £2.5 billion, backed by five of the UK’s main banking groups – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, and Standard Chartered. BGF is managed completely autonomously with an independent management team. For more information, visit www.businessgrowthfund.co.uk.
With global online ad spend set to reach $110 billion by 2014 and online video ad spend predicted to be the fastest growing category, we believe Unruly is strongly positioned to be the winner in the global social video market,” said Martijn Hamann, Partner of Van den Ende & Deitmers.
About Van den Ende & Deitmers
Van den Ende & Deitmers is the venture capital firm of Endemol founder Joop van den Ende and former Endemol board member Hubert Deitmers. The firm invests in European crossmedia enterprises that have the potential to grow internationally. Its focus is on Content, Platforms, E-commerce and related ICT services. Since the firm was established in 2006, it has invested in a variety of companies, including casual gaming platform Spil Games (number 1 worldwide), television producer Eyeworks (top 5 independent producer worldwide), online market research agency Metrixlab (top 5 worldwide) and online video advertising company Smartclip (number 1 in Europe, now part of Adconion). Last months, it invested in Improve Digital, Pictura and Quadia. Social network Hyves (number 1 in The Netherlands), contact centre Unamic/HCN (top 3 in Europe), online photoalbum producer Albumprinter (top 3 in Europe) and ICT hard- & software webshop CentralPoint (no 1 in The Netherlands) were successfully sold recently. For more information, visit www.endeit.com.