16 September 2015, London UK
One of our most exciting companies, Unruly, has just been acquired by News Corp for £114m (http://newscorp.com/2015/09/16/news-corp-to-acquire-social-video-ad-platform-unruly/ and https://unruly.co/blog/article/2015/09/16/unruly-joins-forces-with-news-corp/).
Unruly, based in London’s Tech City and led by co-founders Scott Button, Sarah Wood, and Matt Cooke, is one of the world’s most innovative ad tech companies, getting videos watched, tracked and shared across the open web, increasing viewer engagement, brand performance and publisher revenues. Its platform has attracted top tier advertisers and brands, including Adidas, Dove, T-Mobile, Evian, Go-Pro and Renault.
Amadeus, along with Endeit Capital and BGF (Business Growth Fund) backed the company in January 2012, since when Unruly has seen a period of sustained growth, continuing to launch ground-breaking products, making a number of significant strategic acquisitions and international joint-ventures, expanding to 15 offices across the world and winning numerous awards. Revenues have grown to nearly $50m in its most recent financial year.
Unruly founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer Scott Button says: “We have had great support from our three institutional investors and I know that they would have been happy to continue backing our growth, but the opportunities and synergies of being part of a major global media business like News Corp offer us a hugely exciting prospect. We are now looking forward to a completely new phase of development.”
Commenting on the exit, which will produce strong returns for the three investors, Amadeus’ Richard Anton says: “I am proud to have chaired the company through our first year until Mike Kelly joined and to have introduced them to their joint venture partner, Fast-Track, in Asia. We wish them all success under their new owners.”
Martijn Hamann, Partner at Endeit, added: “We have been impressed with Unruly’s founders and their local teams around the world in executing and monetizing the social advertising ecosystem through Unruly’s platform. I am proud to have been able to back and actively support the internationalisation journey of Unruly, especially in Germany with the acquisition of Shareifyoulike, and we wish them a great future as part of News Corp.”
Stephen Welton, CEO of BGF, commented: “Unruly is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when entrepreneurs like Scott, Sarah and Matt are given access to flexible funding options, and have the confidence to take calculated risk.
“Over the past four years, growth capital has helped Unruly move into new markets, expand the team, increase revenues and create value for the founders and shareholders. As one of BGF’s first investments and now representing our first full exit, we are truly proud of what the Unruly team has achieved – and we look forward to backing more and more entrepreneurs just like them.”
For further information please contact:
Chantal Ligertwood for Amadeus, +44 (0)7976 229 210 firstname.lastname@example.org
Martijn Hamann for Endeit, +31 (0)653 726 743 email@example.com
Jon Rhodes for BGF, +44 (0)7974 982 334 Jon.firstname.lastname@example.org
About Amadeus Amadeus Capital Partners is a leading technology investor. Since its inception in 1997 the firm has raised over $1bn for investment and backed more than 100 companies in the software, mobile, internet, cyber security and medical technology sectors. The investment team is global (UK, Sweden, USA, India and South Africa), has deep experience in technology and invests in high-growth companies at all stages of development, from seed and early stage to pre-IPO.
Major businesses built by Amadeus include CSR (LSE:CSR), a connectivity, audio, imaging and location semiconductor company; Solexa, the developer of next generation genetic analysis systems, merged into Illumina (ILMN) to create the world leader in gene-sequencing technology, Octo Telematics, the global leader in insurance telematics services acquired by Renova Group; and Transmode (ST:TRMO), an optical networking solutions business.
For more information, please visit amadeus.wedevelopdigital.co.uk
About Endeit Capital Growth capital investor Endeit Capital (Amsterdam, Hamburg) invests in pan-European “Connected Consumer” firms in digital media/marketing, ecommerce and enterprise services, supporting them to become leading international players in their industries. Endeit invested in 20 companies since 2006, typically between €3m and €12m per business. Some known successful investments are Albumprinter (now part of Vistaprint), Eyeworks (Warner Bros), Hyves (Telegraaf Media Groep), Improve Digital (Swisscom), Metrixlab (Macromill), Paylogic (SFX), Unamic (Xerox), Spilgames and Smartclip.
Endeit Capital is an independent investment firm, backed by large financial institutions and various successful entrepreneurs like Joop van den Ende, co-founder of Endemol.
For more information, please visit www.endeit.com
About BGF BGF is the UK’s most active provider of growth capital to small and mid-sized businesses having backed close to 100 entrepreneurs, with over £600 million of long-term capital, in four years. BGF’s team of 70 investors, operating from eight offices across the UK, make initial investments of between £2m and £10m and then actively look to provide additional funding to support further growth. Investment is typically in the form of equity in return for a minority stake. This deal represents BGF’s first full exit and return on capital since it began investing in 2011 and its long-term funding structure means that the return made will be reinvested into more growing companies. The deal was led for BGF by regional director Marion Bernard with assistance from Rodney Appiah. www.bgf.co.uk Twitter: @bgf_team