Social Advertising: Our investment in Glow

Yesterday we announced our Series A investment in Glow Digital Media. Glow enable some of the worlds largest advertisers to execute social advertising at scale. We completed the round with White Star Capital and existing investors Project A and Avonmore Developments. The round size was $7m and the company will use this investment to continue their global expansion and to scale their platform and engineering teams. Here is a little insight into why we invested in Glow:

Smart Founders & Management Team

It’s all about the team in early stage investing; we expect a relationship to last for many years with a company so not only do they have to be smart but we also have to be able to work well together. Co-founders Damian Routley and John Helstrip lead an already excellent team with prior experience from companies such as Facebook, Google, Criteo, TradeDouble, Wildfire & Merrill Lynch. They’ve got a great culture and some real rockstars across product, operations, engineering and sales and we’re looking forward to working closely with them all to build a great company.

Product Performance & Platform Play

We love the capability of the product and technology stack as well as the overall user experience. Customers love the product for what it enables them to deliver and the ease of adoption and use. The product excels not only in UI & UX but is also underpinned by a well constructed architecture utilising best of breed frameworks and data management platforms. We believe this is a critical element of any fast growth business whether selling to enterprise or SMB. Glow is also a platform which puts it at the heart of the marketers tool set and allows integration with other technologies key to achieving optimal returns on ad spend.

A Large and Growing Market

The digital advertising market is a huge market (c.$119bn) and with social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the likes dominating consumer attention, the social advertising market is an extremely exciting area. It’s also a fast growing and evolving market with brands and agencies struggling to exploit this to reach their audiences and to do this at scale. There exists therefore a huge opportunity to enable direct response advertising through Glow and for them to dominate this market. The company is already operating in North America, Europe and Asia serving some of the worlds largest direct response advertisers.

Strong Traction & Enviable Clients

Glow already has a significant ad spend flowing through the platform on a monthly basis, rapid growth and an enviable client list including King, US Bank and Spotify. This significant revenue and fast growth is a key factor in our investment hypothesis. We love to find fast growth companies and invest at a point that enables them to scale faster, whilst supporting in areas such as strategic guidance, talent acquisition, client & partner development, internationalisation and future fund raising.

Strategic Partners & Global Scale

Given the nature of the business, Glow has tight integrations and strategic relationships with the social networks they work with. This is critical both in terms of commercials but also in aligning product roadmap and vision as these networks expand and evolve. Glow are one of only 12 Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developers in the world and one of the only ones focused on Direct Response advertising at scale. Glow have also just announced a relationship with Twitter to become one of 11 global Twitter Marketing Platform Partners.

Excellent Syndicate Partners & Advisors

Notion often co-invest with other VC’s and angels where these investment partners can complement us and the team we’re investing in. In the case of Glow working with Christian Hernandez from White Star Capital who helped incubate Google's international mobile efforts and scaled out Facebook's business across EMEA. The team are also supported by an excellent advisory board of adtech industry leaders.

We’re very excited to announce this investment and work with Damian, John and the team over the years to come as they build out a global category leader in the social advertising space.

In other news, Notion invests $9m into the rocket driving the Direct Booking Movement.

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