One of our most exciting companies, Unruly, has just been acquired by News Corp for £114m.
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.”
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.”