New Collaborative Fund will Scale Technology Investments, Knowledge-Sharing and Inventive Client Solutions Across Entire MDC Partners Network
New York – MDC Partners today announced a move to scale the company’s investments in early-stage digital media and marketing technology companies under MDC Ventures. MDC Ventures will expand access to MDC Partners’ existing venture investments as well as enhance knowledge-sharing across the entire agency partner network, in part by building on the successful initiatives of KBS Ventures, which was established in 2011. The investments will continue to be overseen by an executive team at MDC Partners and a newly formed advisory board representing a diverse group of agency partners. Day-to-day operations will be led by Jessica Peltz-Zatulove, who previously managed investments as a Partner at KBS Ventures.
“MDC Ventures will accelerate and expand on the proven model we have been incubating as KBS Ventures for years, fueling the ambitions of our entire agency network with access to entrepreneurial companies and solutions, and sharpening our clients’ competitive advantages in the market,” said Scott Kauffman, Chairman and CEO of MDC Partners. “We have long recognized that start-ups and venture capitalists see the market differently, and this move allows more of our agency partners and clients to benefit from exposure to the digital, technology and media disruptors that are actively shaping the future of our industry.”
Through its venture activity to date, MDC Partners has established relationships with more than 400 venture funds globally and now screens more than 500 early-stage startups a year, providing its agencies with a unique lens on the market. KBS will continue to participate as part of the MDC Ventures agency advisory board, along with representatives from 72andSunny, Allison+Partners, Anomaly, CP+B, Colle+McVoy, Doner, GALE, Laird + Partners, The Media Kitchen, Y Media Labs and more.
To date, MDC Partners has made dozens of early-stage investments, including VR pioneer Entrypoint, PlaceIQ, Samba TV and Msg.ai, a leader in artificial intelligence for conversational commerce. Access to these early-stage investments has led to innovative agency solutions and has informed various strategic initiatives, including the launch the first AI-focused agency, Born.
“Investing in seed-stage companies allows us to establish relationships with entrepreneurs that are often pre-product and pre-revenue, giving us access to this thinking as much as 12 to 18 months before they are ready to pitch brands and agencies,” said Peltz-Zatulove. “The MDC Ventures operating model differentiates us as partners and strategic investors, providing our portfolio companies with exclusive access to some of the brightest thought leaders in the industry. We’re able to work alongside founders to help them develop a genuine understanding of their customers, their pain points, and respective workflows before they go to market.”
Kauffman added, “The new MDC Ventures advisory board represents a distinct strategic advantage for our partner agencies, giving us a collectively deeper understanding of emerging trends and the implications for marketers, and allowing us to better inform and prepare our clients for the future.”
About MDC Partners Inc.
MDC Partners is one of the fastest-growing and most influential marketing and communications networks in the world. Its 50+ advertising, public relations, branding, digital, social and event marketing agencies are responsible for some of the most memorable and engaging campaigns for the world’s most respected brands. As "The Place Where Great Talent Lives," MDC Partners is known for its unique partnership model, empowering the most entrepreneurial and innovative talent to drive competitive advantage and business growth for clients. By leveraging technology, data analytics, insights, and strategic consulting solutions, MDC Partners drives measurable results and optimizes return on marketing investment for over 1,700 clients worldwide.