Livingbridge, one of the UK’s leading mid-market private equity investors, today announces its investment in Venatus, a global advertising technology platform targeting video gaming and entertainment audiences.
Co-founded in 2010 by CEO Rob Gay and COO Matt Cannon, Venatus is headquartered in London with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, and Seoul. The firm connects advertisers and their agencies with video gaming content and community website owners (“publishers”), giving them access to the hard-to-reach and highly valuable global gaming audience.
Venatus’s commitment to excellence has enabled it to exclusively represent direct and programmatic ad sales for over 250 core publishers – including Rovio, EA, OP.GG, What Culture and FUTBIN. The firm has also delivered award-winning creative campaigns for the likes of Unilever, BBC, Universal, Hasbro, Activision and Intel with the support of its in-house sales team.
Venatus’s addressable market is currently estimated to be around £1bn across the UK and US, with gamers representing a large, distinct and attractive segment for advertisers – a position which is likely to be enhanced by the increasing popularity of gaming and privacy-related changes to online tracking.
Livingbridge’s investment will be vital in supporting Venatus in establishing itself as the largest global specialist in this space – facilitating its ambitious growth plans in the US, taking the business to new geographies, and heavily investing in its proprietary technology.
Dave Kirby at Livingbridge, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Venatus, a well-differentiated business which offers a winning proposition for both publishers and advertisers/agencies looking to reach a gaming audience. The founders and current management team have done a fantastic job in creating a unique business with a strong reputation and we look forward to helping them fulfil the company’s potential.”
Rob Gay, CEO at Venatus commented: “We are excited to be joining forces with Livingbridge, a partner with a strong record helping UK businesses to grow. We look forward to working with the team to continue scaling our business internationally while developing our proprietary technology and product offering.”
Matt Cannon, COO at Venatus added: “Livingbridge not only understands our growth potential but also our culture, so we are delighted to have their full support. Our shared vision for Venatus, coupled with their extensive experience and capital, make them the perfect partner for the next stage of our growth journey.”
The investment was made through Livingbridge 7, a £1.25bn 2021 vintage fund. It builds on the firm’s recent experience with performance marketing businesses, including Brainlabs and Jungle Creations.
The principal advisors on this investment for Livingbridge included JEGI Clarity, Travers Smith, PwC Strategy&, Grant Thornton, NatWest Bank and Lloyds Bank.
The principal advisors on this investment for Venatus included GP Bullhound, Osborne Clarke, BDO and Buzzacott.
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Livingbridge is a mid-market private equity firm with offices in the UK, the US and Australia, investing in fast growing companies valued up to £300m.
Our team have been backing growing businesses together for twenty years. We’ve done it over a hundred times, turning many into household names both at home and abroad. We get growth.
We understand the people behind growing companies in consumer markets; healthcare and education; technology, media and telecommunications; financial services and business services, and help them achieve what’s right for them and their business.
Venatus is a global advertising technology platform, focused on gaming and entertainment.
Co-founded by Robert Gay and Matt Cannon in 2010, Venatus was created to provide advertisers with direct access to gaming audiences. As the gaming ecosystem expanded, Venatus has remained at the forefront of the industry, gaining unique access to gaming and esports publishers for global brands.
Venatus exclusively represents the direct and programmatic ad sales for over 250 core publishers, including Rovio, EA, OP.GG, Gfinity, What Culture and FUTBIN. Supported by in-house sales teams delivering award-winning creative campaigns for the likes of Unilever, BBC, Universal, Hasbro, Activision and Intel.
Now in its 11th year of business, Venatus has offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, Sydney and Seoul.