Croud, a leading digital marketing agency, has secured a £30 million minority investment from mid-market private equity house LDC. The deal will support Croud to further accelerate global growth via its innovative service delivery that combines its proprietary technology with Croud's worldwide network of on-demand digital experts.
The Croud model is unique. Operating from its offices in London, New York, Sydney and Shrewsbury, Croud uses its proprietary technology to support planning, automation and execution of digital marketing campaigns - and then scales this capability via its unique global network of 2,400 on-demand digital marketing specialists, working with a diverse client portfolio including Vans, AXA IM, Virgin Trains, The North Face, Intuit, The AA, Hiscox, and IWG. In its latest financial year, Croud generated £15.4 million in revenue. It is now extending its footprint across the USA, winning major brands as clients such as The Athletic and Audible.
LDC is backing the existing management team led by Co-Founders Luke Smith and Ben Knight. The firm will help Croud build on its position as a leading independent marketing agency through investing in its operations in the UK and overseas. The partnership will also support further development of Croud's proprietary technology products and expansion of its range of services.
The deal was led by LDC Director David Andrews, Investment Director Joseph Fison and Investment Manager Dan Gluckman. David Andrews and Joseph Fison will join Croud's board as Non-Executive Directors.
Luke Smith, CEO and Co-Founder of Croud, said:
"We are absolutely delighted to announce our partnership with LDC. This moment is the culmination of eight years of hard work, dedication and brilliance from our team, all of whom are stakeholders in the business and will share in our success.
"But this is just the beginning - we underwent a rigorous process in finding the right partner for us and looked at several options, but LDC share our vision and offer the ideal platform for us to continue on our mission - which very much remains to become the world's finest digital technology and communications group.
"We started Croud in 2011 to build a truly different marketing communications business, and have seen phenomenal growth, but we're only just getting started. With the launch of our SaaS platform Serpico, our ever-expanding international business, and partnerships with all of the major platforms, we have so many reasons to be bullish about our future plans and increasing our current growth rate of over 40%.
"We are all looking forward to the next phase of Croud's growth alongside the LDC team."
David Andrews, Director at LDC, added: "The team at Croud have built a unique proposition that is disrupting a fast-growing sector. Its crowd-sourced and tech-enabled model has proven it can deliver exceptional results through faster, more cost-effective and efficient resource, combined with the ambition of the team - the perfect ingredients for growth.
"We are backing the management team's vision and are excited at the opportunity to support them on the next stage of their journey."
In August of this year, Croud launched Serpico, a proprietary software-as-a-service platform which offers in-house digital marketers access to its "Croudie" freelancer network, as well as audits and benchmarks of a client's digital marketing activity with recommendations to improve performance. The firm is an official Google Marketing Platform Sales Partner, enabling clients to get the most out of Google's suite of marketing technologies.
Croud has been in the headlines recently for a plethora of industry awards, including multiple Drum Search Awards and the YouTube Works Awards.
LDC was advised by CMS, CIL, BDO, KPMG and Results International.
Croud was advised on the transaction by technology investment bank GP Bullhound and supported by Buzzacott and Taylor Wessing.