Oakley Capital invests in contextual advertising specialist Seedtag

Oakley Capital's Oakley Capital Origin Fund (Origin Fund) is investing USD35 million to acquire a minority stake in Seedtag, a specialist in contextual advertising in EMEA and Latin America.

Founded in Madrid in 2014, Seedtag helps brands and agencies to deliver digital advertising that is directly relevant to the content that readers are consuming. Oakley’s investment will support the Company’s expansion into the US and fund further investment in its contextual AI technology at a time of profound change for the advertising industry.
 
Over the coming years, the increasing importance of consumer privacy and GDPR rules is expected to drive a shift away from third-party cookies, and advertisers will no longer be able to reach target audiences by leveraging user browsing history. As a result, brands and agencies are searching for reliable alternatives that help them to understand consumer interests while targeting priority audiences.
 
Seedtag’s proprietary software does not rely on the use of cookies and so is best positioned to provide a deep understanding of consumer interests, build a contextual strategy that is based on data and gather a range of insights that can help brands to market themselves more effectively. The Company’s machine learning engine was developed in-house and can analyse 10,000 articles a minute, providing human-like understanding of text and images.
 
Seedtag has expanded rapidly across Europe and Latin America thanks to its best-in-class technology, differentiated product offering, and strong relationships, with revenues forecast to increase 60 per cent this year to USD80 million. The Company’s clients include blue chip brands such as Universal and Adidas, as well as agencies such as WPP and Havas. Seedtag also partners with premium publishers including the FT, The Guardian, and Sky that reach a combined audience of over 500 million unique users.
 
The partnership developed out of a long-standing relationship between Oakley partners and Seedtag’s founders, who were attracted to Oakley’s deep media expertise and strong track record in growing digital businesses organically, via M&A and across international markets.
 
Origin’s investment in Seedtag continues Oakley’s successful track record in backing digital businesses in the B2B space. Earlier this year, Origin invested in ECOMMERCE ONE, a leading provider of ecommerce software in the DACH region. Other similar investments by Oakley include leading global web hosting software provider WebPros, and ERP software providers Ekon and PRIMAVERA (both combined to create Grupo Primavera).
 
Peter Dubens, Managing Partner of Oakley Capital, says: “Oakley’s investment in Seedtag demonstrates our continuing ability to source proprietary deals from across our network and in attractive sectors. An increasing focus on consumer privacy and brand safety is driving growth in contextual advertising, and we believe Seedtag is well-placed to harness this exciting opportunity thanks to a combination of best-in-class technology, strong commercial relationships and an impressive management team.”
 
Albert Nieto, co-CEO of Seedtag, says: “Oakley’s investment and expertise will support our strategy to develop Seedtag into a worldwide leader in contextual advertising. We look forward to offering US brands, agencies and publishers our contextual solutions as we expand into new markets.”
 
Jorge Poyatos, co-CEO of Seedtag, says: “Oakley’s deep expertise and strong track record in growth, technology and media make them the best partner to support the development and rollout of Seedtag’s AI technology on a global scale. Together we are fully committed to offering best-in-class advertising solutions in a privacy-first world.”

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