By Maximilian Clarke
One of the world’s fastest growing social video distribution companies, Unruly, has attracted $25m funding from Amadeus Capital Partners, Van den Ende & Deitmers and Business Growth Fund.
Unruly has delivered a number of high profile social video campaigns for global brands, including Evian’s “Roller Babies” and T-Mobile’s “Life's for Sharing ”.
The funding, which is the largest for a private company in the social video sector, is the company’s first institutional round and will be used to strengthen its European market leadership position, expand its already successful US business and establish a footprint in Asia. Unruly is a profitable company, with 2011 revenues of $25m.
Established in the UK and headquartered in London’s Tech City, Unruly has since inception in 2006 become a multi award-winning global business, distributing sponsored video content for media agencies and brands through a network of over 10,000 publisher websites, platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, influential blogs and mobile applications. Distribution currently reaches 725m unique users each month.
Apart from its reach, which makes it one of the largest distribution platforms in the world, Unruly’s prime differentiator is the unique analysis it provides its customers, through a proprietary storehouse of video interaction data that enables the company to match content to the optimal publisher to achieve maximum brand engagement. Unruly has delivered, tracked and audited 1.34 billion user-selected video views and executed more than 1,400 successful social video campaigns for some of the world’s leading global brands, including Unilever, EA, Adidas, T-Mobile and Coca-Cola.
Brands and agencies increasingly recognise the power of social video to build high-impact, long-term emotional connections with their audiences, influence consumers and ignite conversations. Social video campaigns are predicted to generate 20 billion views in 2012, with numbers rising each year.
“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.”
“With global online ad spend set to reach $110 billion by 2014, representing more than 20% of total ad spend, 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.
“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 for London and the South East at Business Growth Fund. “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.”
“Today represents an important milestone for the company and social video as a whole,” said Unruly CEO and co-founder 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.”
Richard Anton, Martijn Hamann and Marion Bernard all join the Unruly Board of Directors. Together, the three investors hold a minority stake in Unruly.
Advisers on the investment were: Torch Partners and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP for Unruly Media and for the investors: Taylor Wessing/Berwin Leighton Paisner (legal), Baker Tilly Corporate Finance LLP (accounting due diligence), Hampton Court Capital (commercial due diligence), Transition People (management due diligence).
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