Questions

Do venture firms invest in startup digital / creative agencies focused on campaign performance?

3answers

Find the right investor interested in this area and the answer is yes. investors come from many walks of life and are interested in things just like everyone else. Find wealthy individuals who are open to investing and find your area of business interesting and ideally understand it and could help with it as well.


Answered 5 years ago

I run an online marketing agency for socially conscious retailers. We do conversion rate optimization, email marketing, SEO and PPC. We have 25ish employees and our clients represent $700M+ in revenue.

Generally no, VC's don't consider digital/creative agencies to be in their purview. The multiples for service-based companies like agencies are quite low (usually between book value to 1.5x) so it doesn't fit their investment model.

In my career I've met one guy who invests in agencies/consultancies. And that's because he's built and scaled several and sold them to Big 4 firms.

However, if you have a product with traction that solves a real problem for your clients you'd have the ear of an investor. That's how Hootsuite started.

I hope this helps.


Answered 5 years ago

I've never seen one that does this... in fact, I've seen a few firms that have tried this and the VC's quickly labeled them as "just lead gen" with an unattractive, non-recurring business model.

Granted, you can keep generating performance - but it will arguably continue to cost you a lot of maintain the performance. Thus, the profit margin doesn't increase over time.

There is a firm that focuses on 'contract renewals' and their model is a % of contracts they get to renew. To support their business, they've built a platform that makes it easy to manage/track/renew contracts... so its performance based, but its also technology based with a lot of lock in.

I've *never* seen a VC invest in a creative agency. That is typically reserved for Private Equity firms or specialized banking... and its less about investment and more about buying part of your business (owner liquidation).

Good luck!


Answered 5 years ago

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