FSAs & Why We Love Strategics; Impromptu Drinks In London; Attention Critical For Ad Tech
Before we crack on with this week’s edition, it is important to clear up a few things from last week’s newsletter.
Firstly, we are huge believers in the sustainability category. So much so that we invested in Good-Loop, which, like Scope3, is tackling head-on our industry’s outsized carbon footprint.
Secondly, Brian O'Kelley is correct in saying that privacy, sustainability and the likes of ESG should not live in isolation. They should be core to all media planning and buying.
It is important to again clarify our point though: privacy is a conundrum that ad tech is really struggling to solve.
Privacy has, as a result, slipped down the industry’s priority list - something that needs to be highlighted given how fundamental it is to the workings of digital media and marketing.
Privacy is business critical. It should not be an afterthought. Just like sustainability.
Now that we have cleared that up, let’s move on.
Astus Makes (Significant) Strategic Investment In FPC
It was announced yesterday that Astus, the global corporate barter company, has made a significant investment (the biggest yet) in the FirstPartyCapital fund.
ExchangeWire has more on the story here: https://www.exchangewire.com/blog/2023/06/01/astus-announces-strategic-investment-with-firstpartycapital-to-boost-ad-tech-and-martech-growth/.
You might be asking yourself, as you are wolf down your bowl of Frosties: why is Astus investing in FPC?
It’s a great question for a Friday morning (or whenever you get to read this).
These strategic partnerships are coming thick and fast for us now - and it’s important to emphasise that these are “partnerships”.
Let’s outline the fundamentals of what we like to call internally, FSAs (FPC Strategic Alliances):
FirstPartyCapital is the ONLY early-stage fund outside the US investing in ad tech, martech and digital media. It’s an incredible stat for a $5 trillion dollar market (the soon-to-be total size of the marketing sector). Just take that in.
FSA partners like Astus offer a unique avenue to clients looking to use the tech and services offered by our portfolio companies.
The above allows FPC to speed up the process of getting early stage companies to scale and profitability.
FPC enables strategics to keep ahead of the industry, getting regular and unique insights into what’s coming next. In an industry where everyone is blind, the one-eyed fund is king, queen and everything in between.
Strategics are often focused on the day-to-day running of business which eats up resources and time, leaving very little room for innovation and forward thinking. Our portfolio companies will help plug some of those gaps.
We all aim to build great companies that will define the industry for years to come.
And of course, last but not least, we are all here to make money.
We will be announcing more strategic investors in the coming months. FPC thanks Astus and the team for their support and belief in what we are doing.
Impromptu Ad Tech Drinks On Monday, June 05
Our friends from famed M&A shop, Houlihan Lokey, are in town for a few days to speak to prospects.
We will be co-hosting some after work drinks with Houlihan Lokey on the evening of Monday, June 05.
They are looking to speak to you. You never know you could be that next Grapeshot or MiQ. It’s never too early to be thinking about that potential lucrative liquidity event.
It’s a free bar - so get yourself down to the Argyle on Hatton Garden (the epicentre of global ad tech) from 6pm for some ad tech chat and M&A gossip.
You can sign up here:
The FPC team will of course be there. Look forward to seeing you all at the Argyle.
Attention: The Industry’s Critical Category
Attention is very much front-of mind for the buy and sell side. It is getting proper traction and scale, as it becomes embedded in the ad tech stack.
Lumen, for instance, recently inked a deal with ad verification powerhouse IAS to help power their attention product.
In a great deep dive, Lumen Research's Mike Follett and Amplified Intelligence's Karen Nelson-Field talk to Jack Benjamin on why attention needs to be seen as a core ad tech category.
You can listen to the podcast in full here:
FPC thinks the importance of the attention category is being weirdly underplayed - especially when you factor in the unknown impact of 3PC deprecation.
As the industry tumbles over the cliff in Q3 of next year, there will be a scramble for privacy-first options.
There are no obvious solutions for buyers and sellers. Attention’s ascendancy is only beginning. And both companies will play a huge part. Exciting times ahead, indeed.
Wishing you an excellent weekend, readers.