Silverbullet Announces London IPO Plans; Admission by 28 June
Silverbullet is a provider of digital transformation services and products which assist brand owners and advertisers to optimize their digital marketing investment, with a particular focus on unlocking the potential of first-party data and contextual intelligence. The Company announces its intention to seek admission of its shares to trading on AIM, with admission expected to take place on 28 June 2021.
The Group’s clients include global brands, such as Heineken, Dolce & Gabbana, Jägermeister and Channel 4, advertising marketplaces and trading desks, and the global media agency network, Local Planet, with which the Company has a joint venture partnership.
This announcement follows on from the recently released Schedule One announcement, which indicated that Admission is expected to occur in late June 2021. The Company intends to raise gross proceeds of approximately £9.5 million (approx $13.2USD) via a proposed placing on Admission (the “Placing”) with an expected market capitalization on Admission of £34.5m (approx 48mUSD). The net proceeds of the Placing are intended to accelerate Silverbullet’s growth, primarily through the roll out of its 4D product and the expansion of its existing client base.
Strand Hanson is the Nominated Adviser to Silverbullet and Oberon Capital is the Company’s broker.
Ian James, Chief Executive Officer of Silverbullet, commented:
“The world is experiencing a global shift towards online consumption and e-commerce, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the 12 months to February 2021, global internet traffic increased 70 per cent, the number of online transactions rose by 27 per cent. and conversion rates by 25 per cent. The growth in e-commerce and the time consumers spend online, coupled with increasing investment in digital advertising spend, are expected to drive significant growth in the digital advertising industry, which is forecast to reach US$526.17 billion by 2024.
“In this environment, and in light of increasing restrictions on the use of third-party cookies, the Board believes contextual targeting is poised to thrive, with 4D providing the Group with a scalable digital product which is complementary to its established consultancy and activation services, and therefore able to be cross-sold to new and existing services clients, whilst also opening up a broader user audience.
“We are at a pivotal and exciting point in the Company’s development and we look forward to working with our new investors to achieve our ambitious plans.”
- Significant market opportunity – the Group is geared towards capitalizing on what the Board believes is the once in a generation, permanent, global shift in consumer behavior towards digital media, with digital advertising spending forecast to reach US$645.80 billion by 2024, accounting for to 67.8 per cent. of total media advertising spend.
- Established existing client base – the Group has worked, directly or via agency partners, with over 100 brands, including many household names such as Heineken, Dolce & Gabbana, Jägermeister and Channel 4, and completed work for over 40 newly introduced brands in 2020.
- Regulatory driven environment – changing regulation and corporate policy globally, as well as a desire for more reliable performance analysis in order to optimize digital marketing investments, is helping to drive the shift by brands towards ‘in-housing’ of the digital marketing process. Silverbullet is well-positioned to capitalize on this trend as well as the wider trend away from the use of third-party cookies in the advertising environment.
- Strong established services business – the Company has an established and growing services business with significant accumulated industry experience and a proven track record of delivering strategic projects and activation services to its clients.
- Recently launched flagship product – the Group’s flagship digital marketing product, 4D, is a contextual intelligence cloud-based platform that seeks to improve brand engagement and marketing ROI, which the Board believes will enable the Group to deliver scalable revenues with low marginal costs.
- Global presence – Silverbullet has established a global presence, with established offices in the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Australia and a recently opened office in the United States. The Group also continues to look at other opportunities for expansion worldwide.
- Experienced Board and management – the majority of the Board have held senior positions at global software companies, including a number of transactional exits such as, Oracle BlueKai DMP, DoubleVerify, FreeWheel Media, Inc., and Acxiom, Inc. (former owner of Liveramp, Inc.,), and have significant industry experience across data engineering, SAAS product development and marketing.
- Commercial partnerships – the Group has close technical and commercial partnerships with Salesforce, Oracle and Adobe, all of which have existing sales channels and are already delivering to clients.
- Material joint venture and strategic partnership – the Group has established a joint venture and strategic partnership with Local Planet, a scaled network of over 60 agencies across the globe which transact, in aggregate, over US$16 billion of media buying on behalf of their clients. The Local Planet joint venture, established in December 2020, which has already generated material services revenues for the Group, presents a significant opportunity to provide further data services and the 4D product to the Local Planet agency network.
Silverbullet is a provider of marketing services and products which assist brand owners and advertisers to optimise their digital marketing investment, with a particular focus on unlocking the potential of first party data and contextual intelligence. The Group’s clients include global brands, such as Heineken, Dolce & Gabbana, and Jägermeister, advertising marketplaces and trading desks, and the global media agency network, Local Planet, with which the Company has a joint venture partnership.
Silverbullet was founded in March 2016 by a group of senior executives working within global technology companies who identified the need to address the problems faced by advertisers and brand owners in targeting their investment in the rapidly growing and changing marketing and data landscape. Silverbullet is incorporated in the United Kingdom and has subsidiaries in the US, Italy, Australia and Germany.
The Group has operated as a provider of consultancy and activation services in the digital marketing sector, with a key element of the Group’s growth strategy being the identification, acquisition and development of complementary technologies that would enhance the Group’s programmatic skill set and technology suite, as well as broaden the Group’s customer base. As part of this strategy, in May 2019, the Group’s founders effected the acquisition of Silver Bullet Data Services Limited (“SBDS UK”) by IO Technologies Group Limited (“IO Technologies”), which resulted in IO Technologies changing its name to Silver Bullet Data Services Group Limited and the board of SBDS UK replacing that of IO Technologies. This transaction provided the Group with an enhanced software development capacity and programmatic services offering, as well as access to Platform360, a proprietary content engagement solution focused on native advertising. Subsequently, in December 2019, Silverbullet acquired Technobeet S.r.l. and Videobeet Italia S.r.l., which had developed the Beetledesk platform, a data-driven programmatic trading desk platform, which further broadened the Group’s product offering, customer base and software development capacity.
In 2019, the Board identified the fact that the online advertising market was transitioning away from the largely relied upon third-party cookie for the purpose of targeting and tracking online advertising. This has been evidenced by anti-tracking policies adopted or announced by Google, Apple and Firefox, which aim to block third-party cookies and identifier-based data sharing. Furthermore, the management team observed that brands were not making effective use of significant volumes of the first party data that they had accumulated for the purpose of building an understanding of their customer bases, in order to most effectively target their advertising spend. Accordingly, the Group, led by its Chief Strategy Officer, Umberto Torrielli, began, in October 2019, developing its own proprietary contextual marketing product, 4D, which enables effective targeted marketing without any reliance on third-party data and which has become the Group’s flagship product.
Following a number of successful third party product testing campaigns, 4D is now available on key marketing technology platforms such as The Trade Desk, Google DV360, and Xandr and is currently being trialled by a number of global brands. The Board believes that 4D provides the Group with a best-in-class product, which has a significant addressable global market, including brands, media agencies and marketing/advertising technology platforms.
In 2020, the Group also entered into a strategic joint venture with Local Planet, the world’s largest independent media agency network, which formalised a pre-existing data strategy partnership. The Local Planet joint venture is expected to be a key component of the Group’s expansion plans, providing access to Local Planet’s media agency network. Ian James, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer also serves on the Board of Local Planet as Chief Data, Technology & Analytics Officer in a Non-Executive capacity.
The Board intends to continue to grow the Group’s existing services business whilst rolling out its 4D product, which is expected to begin delivering material revenues over the next 12-18 months and ultimately account for a majority of the Group’s revenues in the coming years. The Board intends to leverage its existing client base and partnership with Local Planet to accelerate adoption of 4D, as well as sourcing new customers through traditional sales routes.
The Board consists of four non-executive directors and three executive directors, details of whom are set out below, along with details of the Group’s senior management:
Nigel Sharrocks, aged 64 – Non-Executive Chairman
Nigel Sharrocks has spent over 40 years in the global media industry and is currently chair of several international media companies, including Local Planet. In 2012, Nigel was a key member of the Executive Leadership team that sold Aegis Group, the media buying and digital marketing group, to Dentsu Group Inc. in a US$3.16 billion cash deal. Nigel was previously the Managing Director for Warner Bros. Pictures, UK and, prior to this, Nigel founded MediaCom Group Limited, which is now a cornerstone of WPP plc.
Ian James, aged 45 – Group Chief Executive Officer
Ian James has over 25 years’ digital data and technology experience and brings a wealth of industry knowledge to the business. Ian has held a number of leadership roles in Entertainment, FMCG, Media and Technology organisations, where he delivered transformation for businesses such as Chrysalis PLC, Bacardi Corporation, Aegis Group, Starcom MediaVest Group, Acxiom Limited and Verve Inc. Ian is currently a non-executive director at 4Global Consulting Limited and serves on the Board of Local Planet as a non-executive director and fulfils the role of Global Chief Data, Technology and Analytics Officer.
Ian co-founded Silverbullet in 2016 and continues to drive the leadership team and business, while extending into key partnerships and commercial opportunities.
Umberto Antonio Torrielli, aged 38 – Co-Founder, Executive Director & Chief Strategy Officer
Umberto Torrielli is an entrepreneur, thought leader and mentor, with extensive experience in the data and media technologies industry. Prior to co-founding Silverbullet in 2016, Umberto led varied technical and strategic teams and most recently at Bluekai Inc. and Oracle Corporation. Umberto brings a unique technical view of the customer data and technology landscape and helps shape the overall strategy for the Group’s products and services division.
Darren William Poynton, aged 48 – Group Chief Financial Officer
Darren Poynton is a highly experienced ACA Finance Executive with extensive knowledge of the advertising, media and entertainment industries. Having started his career at KPMG, Darren spent over 10 years with National Geographic Channels Europe and National Geographic Ventures International and was part of the successful management team that led the expansion of the TV channels business across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Darren was UK CFO for MediaCom Group Limited, WPP Plc’s largest media agency and was the UK Group CFO for Havas Media Group where he was also responsible for M&A strategy.
Keith John Sadler, aged 62 – Non-Executive Director
Keith Sadler has over 30 years’ experience in Corporate Finance. He was responsible for a number of high-level M&A deals across the media sector in the 2000s. Keith was chief financial officer of News Communication & Media plc, which was acquired by Gannett U.K. Limited for £444 million, and The Wireless Group Plc, which sold to UTV Media plc for £100 million. He was, until June 2018, chief financial officer of A Spokesman Said Limited, an online price comparison site. Prior to this, Keith was chief financial officer of Dods Group PLC, a political communications business, and formerly chief operations officer and group finance director of WEARE 2020 plc. Keith is currently the non-executive chairman, and chairman of the audit committee, of two AIM listed companies, being Warpaint plc and Hawkwing Plc (formerly TLA Worldwide plc, a global sports management and events business). Keith will focus on delivering corporate structure guidance, fundraising/listing and M&A advice.
Martyn Rattle, aged 58 – Non-Executive Director
Martyn Rattle is currently Chief Executive Officer and founder of Local Planet and has over 30 years’ experience in global media companies. Martyn is also the founder and a director of Marmalade Consultants Limited, a global M&A consultancy company specialising in acquisitions & growth strategies in the independent digital marketing services sector. Prior to this, Martyn was CEO of Global Clients at Aegis Group and part of the Board team who sold Aegis Group to Dentsu Group Inc. for US$3.16 billion in 2012. Martyn will assist the Board to focus on scaling Silverbullet’s client relationships and structuring long-term commercial contracts.
Steven Clarke, aged 47 – Non-Executive Director
Steve is a serial entrepreneur with significant experience in the digital media industry. He is currently Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Withu Holdings Limited, an online business providing audio-based workout programmes, prior to which he co-founded Mobile5 Media Ltd, which was acquired by Omnicom Media Group in 2018, and served as managing director of Bluestar International Limited. Steve also previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Bluestar Mobile Group plc, which was admitted to AIM in 2005 and sold its trading business to Bluestar International Limited in 2008, and as director of Rivals Digital Media Ltd, a company formed by the merger of 365 PLC with the Internet division of Chrysalis Media Ltd. Steve also co-founded Property Jungle Limited in April 1999, which, at the time, became the largest online property portal in the UK within 12 months of inception, having sold Creative Catering Ltd earlier in 1999, a company he had founded in 1995.