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Adtech business heralded as “the next Criteo” banks £8m for product growth

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Captify Media has developed what it calls the largest independent search data network in Europe, which covers 550m unique users around the world. Currently employed by the likes of British Airways, American Express and Microsoft, Captify’s technology ensures online users are shown relevant ads that are likely to lead to conversation.

The fundraising deal is the second time Capitfy has secured institutional funds. In 2013, Panoramic Growth Equity led a £1.2m Series A deal, following year-on-year growth of 280 per cent, and aimed at helping the business grow both in the UK and overseas.

Since that deal, Captify has increased gross revenue by some 300 per cent, staff count from 11 to 65, and opened offices in Hamburg and Kiev – with Paris set to open later in the summer. It was also one of the Real Business 2015 Everline Future 50 companies – recognising its disruptive presence in the market.

Read Captify's 2015 Future 50 profile

According to a statement, the £8m funding injection will allow the London-based startup to consolidate its market position, grow in existing European markets and then target new international geographies. This is against a backdrop of a global market for mobile advertising and analytics worth $18bn now, and $42bn in 2017, according to Gartner.

Co-founder and CEO Dominic Joseph stated the investment is a “milestone” for Captify. “It will enable us to consolidate our position as the European market leader in search data driven advertising and analytics an put us on course to claim true global leadership,” he added. “It is indicative of how the European ad tech space is flourishing and providing genuinely tough competition to established US rivals.”

With the business now working with 88 media agencies in the UK, and 100 in Europe, Captify expects revenues to surpass £15m for this year. This is being supported by senior recruitments from businesses including Google, WPP and AOL.

Explaining why his firm joined the Series B transaction, Smedvig Capital principal Jon Lerner commented: “Captify is the clear European leader in a very exciting, disruptive and fast growing segment of advertising technology.

“The Captify team has built fantastic client relationships through proprietary technology, unique data, great performance and excellent customer service. There is a large global market opportunity here, and we are very much looking forward to working closely with Dom and Adam [co-founders] to further scale the business.”

Looking back to when he first backed Captify in 2013, Panoramic Growth Equity partner Malcolm Kpedekpo believes the business has achieved “exceptional growth”.

“They have strongly held their dominant market leading position in Europe against competition from US competitors and are now well placed to make their mark on the global search intelligence market. There is no question that this business has an exciting future ahead,” he added.

Providing further context on the deal, Julie Langley, partner at corporate finance firm Results International, said Captify has what it takes to be the next Criteo to emerge from Europe. “This fundraising demonstrates that investor appetite remains very strong for adtech businesses that have proprietary technology, first party data, ambitious management teams and, above all, a truly differentiated service proposition for advertisers,” she said.

“Notwithstanding some of the recent sentiment on the public markets in relation to adtech, the market for digital advertising is constantly evolving and that brings with it huge opportunity for innovative companies like Captify. We expect to see continued high levels of investor interest for disruptive and high-growth companies in the sector.”

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