Smedvig Capital Leads £5m Investment in Ed Bussey's Quill Funding Round to Accelerate Quill's Growth in Rapidly Emerging Content Marketing Space
LONDON, March 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Global content creators Quill announce the closure of an oversubscribed £5m (US $8.5m) investment round, led by London based investment house Smedvig Capital.
The investment will allow Quill, which provides businesses with bespoke content on any topic, in any format and any language, to consolidate its position as the UK's content marketing leader and to advance the roll-out of its proprietary SaaS Platform. The platform manages a unique and rapidly expanding global network of over 2,000 specialist content creators, including writers, editors, graphic designers, photographers and video producers who span 17 countries.
With more than 25 per cent of Quill's revenues already generated from overseas markets, the funding will further accelerate the company's international growth ambitions, as it expands its service presence into China, Germany and the US.
Quill seeks to help businesses better reach, acquire and retain their customers through bespoke digital content. The company sees content - whether in the form of words, images, graphics or video - becoming a more cost-effective alternative to traditional paid-for advertising, as brands seek to differentiate themselves in the increasingly competitive and fragmented digital marketplace and to improve their return on online marketing investment.
The development of the Quill Platform, which monitors the quality of all content produced, uniquely enables Quill to deliver multi-language content of consistent quality at scale, more effectively than is possible in-house or via traditional agency models. The SaaS version of the Platform is designed to help brands build their own publishing capabilities, as content and commerce on the web converge at an accelerating pace.
Smedvig joins a strong group of established digital investors including Ariadne Capital Entrepreneurs Fund, Spotify's Shakil Khan, Toptable founder Karen Hanton. Smedvig will sit on the board alongside Julie Meyer of Ariadne. Dan'l Hewitt, formerly of Demand Media and Vice Media also joins the investor roster.
Quill's current clients include major advertising groups WPP, Aegis and Publicis; and brands including Shop Direct Group, LA fitness, STA Travel, Reckitt Benckiser and 888.com.
Founder and CEO, Ed Bussey is a three time online entrepreneur whose previous experience includes COO with mobile social networking pioneer ZYB, which was acquired by Vodafone PLC, and CMO at internet fashion retailer figleaves.com, acquired by N Brown PLC, where Bussey built a 1 million+ customer base across 66 countries.
Ed Bussey, founder of Quill, comments:
"We are delighted to have the backing of Smedvig. Their investment represents a significant vote of confidence in Quill's business model as well as the wider and fast emerging opportunity in content marketing. Their capital and expertise will allow us to invest significantly in the expansion of our operations, platform technology and talent."
"We are already seeing content emerging as a powerful alternative to paid-for advertising, as brands respond to the increasing demands of the digital marketplace. Quill has quickly established a reputation amongst its clients for providing consistently high quality content that speaks their language and delivers measurable results. Our vision has always been to build the first genuinely agile global content creation capability, and Smedvig's backing positions us uniquely to emerge as a global leader in that space."
Jordan Mayo, a Managing Director at Smedvig Capital comments:
"We have been impressed by the exceptional quality of content created by Quill's in house editorial team and global writer network, and the flexibility and scalability that Quill's technology platform offers its clients in delivering this content globally; on any topic, in any format and in any language. Ed leads a strong and highly experienced team and as an active media and technology investor we look forward to working closely with them during this next phase of growth."
Founded in 2011, Quill is the global content creator that delivers inspiring, on-brand content on any topic, in any format and in any language. Quill creates, distributes and promotes content of a consistently high quality as a more effective alternative to advertising in the fast-evolving and increasingly complex digital environment.
Working on the proprietary Quill Platform, Quill's Network of over 2,000 specialist writers and editors, graphic designers, photographers and video producers work across 53 languages and 17 countries to help brands reach, acquire and retain customers.
Founded by three-time online entrepreneur Ed Bussey and backed by successful digital entrepreneurs, Quill is leading the transformation of the media landscape by enabling businesses and brands to become better publishers. Clients include WPP, Aegis, Publicis, 888.com, LA fitness, Shop Direct Group, Reckitt Benckiser and STA Travel.
For further information please visit http://www.quillcontent.com
About Smedvig Capital
Smedvig Capital was founded in 1996 and has invested over £500m of internal capital. They invest £2-10m in fast-growing UK and Nordic businesses, and seek to back ambitious teams that are building businesses with the potential to become market leaders. Smedvig Capital's model is to invest in a small number of businesses each year, and then commit time to working closely with management, providing advice and hands-on support. Previous investments include Ocean Outdoor, the early innovator in the UK super-premium digital outdoor advertising industry, mediamorph, the leading SaaS provider to the digital media industry, and Picture Production Company, an international creative production agency based in the UK and USA.