MadTechMoney Building Investment Ecosystem; Lumen The Kings Of Attention; YouTube's Market Loss A Positive Sign
It’s been a few weeks since we last sent out a newsletter. Let’s just say it’s been a crazy month of fund activity. But we are ready to roll again. The FPC newsletter is now back on its weekly schedule.
MadTechMoney: Building The Ecosystem For Industry Investment
We had over 200 MadTech founders and investors at our inaugural MadTechMoney event in London this week. The content was very strong - thanks to our stellar speaker list.
Our intention with MadTechMoney is to create an investment ecosystem event for our industry, bringing together the investment community and great MadTech companies.
There were lots of non-FPC portfolio companies there - something that was intentional. A rising tide, and all that.
We were happy also with the number of angels, PE firms and M&A specialists that attended. What we were concerned about was the lack of generalist VC interest.
We did invite some. But most declined. There is clearly an education piece to be done with this segment. Most pass on the sector due to lack of understanding or bad track record in the sector.
We need their capital for follow-on rounds. And they can’t ignore a soon-to-be $5 trillion market. FPC will work hard to get more of them in the room next year.
There were some great take-aways - from early stage advice to M&A strategy. Arguably, one of the best panels of the day was with MiQ CEO, Gurman Hundal. In a twenty minute fireside chat, he talked the audience through MiQ’s amazing journey from two man ad net to a $1 billion company that’s now positioning itself as a strategic acquirer.
Our good friend Seb Joseph from Digiday profiled Gurman’s discussion in a great piece this week. You can read it here:
We want to thank everyone for coming along to MadTechMoney this week. And hope to see most of you at MadTechMoney in 2023.
Lumen, The Champions Of Attention
In case you missed it, we announced that we are leading a $3.5 million round into Lumen, a merger between Avocet and Lumen Research. Ronan Shields did a great overview in Digiday this week on the news:
FPC was keen to make a bet in the attention segment, as we believe it will thrive in the post-cookie/id world. Lumen was a no-brainer for us.
These two companies have been working together for the best part of five years, and the product they are building together (LAMP) is a category winner.
FPC has worked with the team (Mike, Matt, Ezra, Si and Arthur) for many years. We know they are capable of great things.
Lumen will be a leader in the attention segment, establishing itself as the go-to for measurement in this privacy-first era.
The merger of Avocet (ad tech) and Lumen (market-leading attention panel and research solution) offers a truly scalable attention measurement solution. The newly merged Lumen has signed up some big global clients for its LAMP solution (stay tuned on that one).
We will be offering up some of this round to our loyal syndicate. Announcement on that is coming next week. Exciting times. Attention FTW.
And Finally, YouTube Slipping In The CTV Market (More Cracks Appearing In The Walled Gardens?)
In a great LinkedIn thread Ali Manning, Co-Founder of Chalice, discusses Google’s “huge ad revenue growth problem” specifically in CTV.
Ali, who is a former Googler, talked about the struggles of selling YouTube initially to TV buyers. It managed to succeed and effectively made the market for many of the current CTV offerings.
In so doing it probably overreached, and now is in decline while the CTV market is expected to double in size.
Compounding this problem has been Google’s inability to dominate the CTV ad tech layer, giving it less control of this growing market. And if we are all being honest here, this is a positive outcome for the industry.
The comments on Ali’s vignette are also worth a read.
Is this a canary in the coal mine for the industry as a whole? Is the ad space imploding? Is this the end of times? Not at all. All we are seeing here is more fragmentation and increased competition in the ad market.
On the ad tech front, TV sellers are not stupid. Google competes with them for ad spend. It is not logical to use a competitor's ad tech stack. It is actually insane.
Market forces are taking effect. Competition in the areas like CTV - whether it’s coming from big broadcasters, Netflix or even Apple - is eating away at the power of the big walled gardens.
FPC loves it. And you should too. Because it is ultimately good news for our portfolio.
On that positive note, have a great weekend readers.