Wunderman, the leading global digital agency and part of WPP, has entered a partnership with Founders Factory – a corporate-backed incubator and accelerator, founded by Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox. The partnership provides Wunderman’s global clients with early access to promising startups, a systematic approach for identifying, connecting and partnering with elite entrepreneurial talent and ongoing education for Wunderman staff.
The accelerator and incubator has been backed by six blue-chip investors, who are Founders Factory’s exclusive global partners – L’Oréal, Aviva, EasyJet, China’s CSC Group, Holtzbrinck and the Guardian Media Group. These investors work with Founders Factory to identify opportunities for startups and ideas for new companies within their respective vertical sectors of Beauty, FinTech, Travel, AI, Education and Media.
Wunderman will work across all vertical sectors and startups, partnering with the right companies to solve business transformation challenges including: customer experience design, marketing technology and digital innovation for its clients. As part of the agreement, Wunderman will work to help Founders Factory reach their goal to build and scale 200 new businesses over five years.
Mark Read, Wunderman’s Global CEO, said: “Growth is our clients’ top priority and that depends on innovation. Now we can help them innovate, not just in their digital marketing, but by working with Founders Factory’s global ecosystem of promising young startups and, in return, help these startups build their businesses for the future.”
Henry Lane Fox, Founders Factory CEO, added: “Founders Factory was developed to tackle a common problem within big business – how to innovate internally. We are committed to building and scaling over 200 new businesses over the next five years. Wunderman and their clients will not only provide expert marketing advice but also numerous commercial opportunities for our startups.”
The Founders Factory portfolio of start-ups, which cover new technologies spanning artificial intelligence, new content creation methodologies, blockchain and e-commerce solutions, will be introduced to the partners and their global networks across every market.
Some of the startups Founders Factory has worked with so far include:
Vidsy: A Self-serve platform for brands to commission and distribute video content from a community of 1,500 film-makers. The company is now working with a number of international brands including Vodafone, Barclays and Unilever. They recently raised £1.3m from Delin Capital and Guardian Media Group, became official Facebook & Snapchat marketing partners, won Facebook's Innovation Spotlight “Creativity around Video” Award for 2017 and won an Instagram Partner Innovation Award at Cannes Lions 2017.
Flourish: Allows brands to connect multiple live data feeds and create complex data visualisations. The company has raised $1m in seed funding from Local Globe and is now working on briefs with a number of international media and financial companies. Flourish recently won the Global Editors Network start-ups for news competition 2017.
people.io: A data rewards app that allows people to extract value from their personal data in exchange for credits, that can be redeemed against a number of digital services. They recently launched a co-branded version of the app with O2 parent Company Telefonica in Germany that is being distributed to their 44m customers. The company has raised a total of £2m and their founder Nicholas Oliver was recently named one of NASDAQ's rising stars.
Medshr: enables medical professionals to share and discuss medical cases and images through its app in an attempt to encourage the sharing of knowledge and expertise. They recently raised £1.5m in a Seed round led by ex-investment banker Karl-Georg Altenburg and the family office of Udo Müller, founder of Ströer SE.