Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: Olsam Group, The Trade Desk, The Ozone Project and more

Olsam Group, an ecommerce platform that acquires and scales category-leading e-commerce businesses, has completed the acquisition of Colapz, a category-leading UK-based camping and outdoor brand which sells patented, collapsible outdoor and camping products. The acquisition is a key step for Olsam, which recently raised $165m, into the camping and outdoor market. Colapz’s team of product designers will also be joining Olsam as part of the deal. Olsam’s expertise as a UK based acquirer will help expand the Colapz brand globally, notably into Amazon US, EU, as well as Asia.

Global advertising technology platform, The Trade Desk, has announced a new partnership with global publisher technology business, The OzoneProject, to provide advertisers with access to Ozone’s 45 million-strong UK audience, reaching 99 per cent of the nation’s online adults. The Trade Desk is the first global demand-side platform connection for Ozone, which was founded by major UK publishers News UK, Guardian Media Group, Telegraph Media Group and Reach PLC. Having now expanded to an alliance of 12 premium publisher groups, Ozone has joined forces with The Trade Desk to deliver on a shared vision to create a more sustainable future for quality journalism and editorially-led content on the open internet. Through this new partnership, it is now easier for The Trade Desk’s clients to connect directly to Ozone’s publishers, accessing highly engaged audiences primed to convert, at scale and in the highest quality content environments on the internet.

On International Women’s Day, global football content and media business Footballco launched INDIVISA — a new women’s football brand created to provide a community for fans that extends from grassroots to the highest levels. INDIVISA will complement the company’s existing news coverage of the elite women’s game through its GOAL brand. INDIVISA is Latin for undivided, held in common and indivisible. The name was chosen to represent the strong, positive and inspiring aspects of women’s football. INDIVISA’s output extends outside of the elite women’s game to include content rooted in lifestyle and community as well as news, game coverage and premium storytelling. Led by an all-female group within Footballco, the brand will also act as a platform for female content creators. Currently publishing through Instagram, INDIVISA will extend to include Twitter and TikTok in the next few months, with platform-specific content created for each.

Following the much-anticipated London preview of its collection – 0xArt launches the first set of physical artworks available for purchase via NFT Deeds. The official sale opens at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas from the 13th March. Art enthusiasts, as well as budding collectors, will be able to purchase the artworks through 0xArt’s sale platform using Ether (ETH). The initial set of artworks includes paintings by Warhol, Jasper Jones and Invader (the “French Banksy”). The sale will run for a limited period from 13th – 20th March, where the physical artworks will be marketed and traded as NFT Deeds – legally binding ownership certificates, which can be traded on the Ethereum blockchain network and can be exchanged for the physical artwork at any time. The collection, Pioneers, will feature as part of Blockchain Creative Labs (BCL) NFT Gallery (BCL_NFT_Gallery), at Trinity Hall, located in the heart of the festival. The gallery will showcase NFTs, blockchain and Web3 through a series of installations and interactive experiences.

Sprout Social, Inc. and Salesforce has announced a global partnership to make it easy for Salesforce customers to manage their full social media presence – engagement, publishing & scheduling, analytics, listening, advocacy and platform integrations – through Sprout’s industry-leading social suite. Sprout enables Salesforce customers to better connect with their audiences, streamline publishing workflows, deliver excellent social customer care, and turn social data into meaningful insights—at scale. To easily build a single view of the customer, Sprout integrates with Salesforce solutions integral to your business including Service Cloud, Sales Cloud and Slack.

Optimizely’s digital experience platform (DXP) has been chosen by digital product specialists Candyspace for the development and optimisation of a new ecosystem of dealer websites for Mazda, consolidating 81 separate platforms and streamlining customer journeys. Over just a few months, the Candyspace team, working collaboratively with the team at Mazda along with selected dealers, took a customer-centric and UX-focused approach to designing, developing and optimising the new suite of websites on the Optimizely DXP. As a result, customers can now enjoy frictionless user journeys across the ecosystem, with personalised experiences that showcase the range of new and used models at their local dealerships and the latest finance offers. With vastly improved data and analytics, Mazda is now better able to drive leads and optimise conversions and journeys across the digital platform. Candyspace’s solution, enhanced by the capabilities of the Optimizely platform, is a flexible one, designed to evolve in line with the rapid changes in the automotive sector. 

The entirely non-profit and voluntary group, Bloom UK is a professional network for women in communications and raised £92,000 for Womens’ Aid last year and, with a significant rise in new members, it hopes to raise a six-figure sum towards its life-saving work in 2022. Bloom works to engage the industry to drive change; supporting and developing initiatives and working with leaders and allies – male or female – to address barriers. Its 500 UK members are committed to spearheading industry action, via education, inspiration and encouragement; while Women’s Aid has been at the forefront of shaping and coordinating responses to domestic violence and abuse through practice for over 45 years. Bloom is also committed to future-proofing women’s careers by removing the barriers to women’s equality and shining a light on the challenges women face and fighting for the equity women deserve. 2022 will also see Bloom focus on paying it forward and giving back to those who need support & guidance.

Outbrain Inc. has announced the date of its 2022 annual advertising innovation conference  ‘Unveil’ which will take place in March. Unveil 2022 is a digital innovation roadshow that will run for a single day across 3 time zones; on March 15 for the Americas, March 16 for EMEA and March 17 for APAC. The event is now open for early registration. Unveil 2022 will be a fully virtual event featuring Outbrain’s Creativity, Performance and Simplicity solutions.

On International Women’s Day, Hootsuite has powered the second annual World Woman Hour, a global digital celebration dedicated to highlighting inspirational stories of women from all walks of life. Led by the World Woman Foundation, the social media-enabled movement aims to mentor one million women by 2030 and will feature inspiring stories from 60 women, told in 60 seconds — presented together in a powerful 60 minutes of film. The hour will inform viewers about how women, every hour, lack access to healthcare, education, sanitation, energy, equal pay, and its impact on gender inequalities worldwide. According to UN Women, every hour, members of national parliaments or legislatures are making decisions on important issues, and only 25% of all national parliamentarians are women. The World Woman Hour honourees will share perspectives to lead the new era of a sustainable, peaceful, healthier, and equitable world for women and girls around the world.

Leading UK health and wellness brand Functional Nutrition Group is the latest name to partner with enterprise CMS Storyblok to assist in future-proofing its technology stack and support growth. The Group’s B2C nutritional supplement brand, Supplement Hub has expanded into Europe and internationally to ensure that it remains agile and profitable in overseas markets despite the challenges presented by Brexit. Along with a new Amsterdam-based office, the expansion has been marked with a new-look digital storefront, along with UK-specific and global versions. To achieve this and support the fast and efficient rollout of tailored, localised, omnichannel content required by the expansion, the Group is using Storyblok’s headless CMS platform – which replaces its previous legacy architecture., the application networking company, has introduced Gloo Mesh Enterprise 2.0, the latest version of its Istio service mesh and control plane that simplifies the configuration and operation of service-to-service connectivity within distributed applications. Gloo Mesh Enterprise 2.0’s major enhancements include multi-tenant workspaces, a new unified API for east-west and north-south traffic management, a new UI for observability, and improved VM support. The company also announced the beta release of GraphQL for Gloo Edge, which embeds a GraphQL server natively into Gloo Edge. Gloo Edge is an API gateway and ingress controller that enables federated GraphQL queries of APIs.

Freshworks Inc., a software company empowering the people who power business, announced the launch of an enhanced partner program. The Freshworks partner program includes 500+ resellers in 50+ countries, 20+ systems integrators, 350+ ISVs and 1,100+ technology applications in the Freshworks Marketplace. The enhanced Freshworks partner program builds on its industry-leading enablement, marketing and lead generation benefits making it easier than ever to partner with Freshworks while adding value to joint customers.

Mendix, a Siemens business and leader in enterprise application development, has announced a new research report that explains the lingering challenges organizations are facing as they attempt to deliver a better digital customer experience (CX). The report also reflects the accelerating pace of low-code adoption as a means of CX improvement. The report was commissioned by Mendix and conducted by market research firm Reputation Leaders from November 19 to December 17, 2021. It is based on a survey of 522 senior IT professionals in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the U.S. Just under a quarter (23%) hold C-level positions. 

AstroPay, the online payment solution of choice of over five million users in the world, has announced the expansion of Payment Links across Latin America, now launching in Peru, Chile, Mexico and Colombia. This is part of the company’s plans to introduce it worldwide following the first launch in Brazil in December 2021. Payment Links is AstroPay’s newest capability, designed for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to enable business owners to collect online and remote payments by simply sharing the link with their customers, and get paid instantly in an easy and secure way. The small and medium-sized enterprises in Latin America is a priority market for AstroPay. In Colombia, the creation of SMEs in 2021 has grown by 10.6% compared to 2020, from 276,891 to 306,140. SMEs in Chile account for 65.3% (4,857,949) of the total number of formal jobs (7,432,926). SMEs also represent 99% of businesses in Mexico and 99.5% of the total number of formal enterprises in the Peruvian economy.

disguise, the visual storytelling platform and market leader in extended reality (xR) solutions, has announced its acquisition of broadcast data and content visualisation solutions platform, Polygon Labs. This marks another milestone in disguise’s move towards cloud-based production that will enhance its workflow to better address user needs in the fast-growing media production and broadcast markets. By adding Polygon Labs to its award-winning workflow, disguise will build integrations that enable xR studios to have access to a wider range of broadcast workflows which empower remote production and cloud-based collaboration. Users of both disguise and Polygon Labs will be able to benefit from easy-to-manage, data-driven graphics workflows running fully native Unreal Engine, as well as extended design and production capability for graphics.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) is set to host a live event exclusively on TikTok, revealing a first look at his much-anticipated cookbook ONE: Simple One-Pan Wonders, as well as launching the chef’s published back catalogue on TikTok Shop UK. On Thursday, 17th March, Jamie will host a special TikTok LIVE at 18:15 GMT with a host of special guests including TikTok creator Julius Fiedler (@bakinghermann), presenter Saskia Marriott (@saskiamarriottpresents) and Brit Award nominee Tom Grennan (@tomgrennan). As part of the live event Jamie will launch his very own TikTok Shop on the platform, meaning those feeling inspired will be able to buy one of his 25 best-selling cookbooks, published by Penguin Michael Joseph, directly in app.

Proact’s position as one of Europe’s leading independent data centres and cloud services providers has been recognised as the company and its subsidiary, Conoa, won four out of six awards bestowed by NetApp at its annual partner awards ceremony. The accolades were presented at NetApp Sweden’s ceremony recognising its partners. Proact won in the categories of: Salesperson of the Year, Presales of the Year and Partner of the Year, with Deal of the Year won by Conoa. The awards acknowledge both individuals and companies for outstanding achievements in sales of products and solutions from NetApp.

Asendia, the joint venture between La Poste and Swiss Post, has announced 100% carbon neutrality as of 2022. As of 2022, not only will Asendia offset all international transport emissions, but it will also include first-mile collection, last-mile delivery, returns, building emissions, machinery, and business travel. Offsetting from 2021 and 2022 will support another EcoAct verified wind farm project, this time in China where coal still covers nearly 70% of the country’s energy needs. Asendia has also made a commitment to sustainability on their board, with its Chief HR Officer Barbara Schielke adding Corporate Social Responsibility to her position, a move she feels extremely passionate about.

Wellbees, the employee wellbeing web platform/mobile app has expanded into the UK with its digital solution for corporate wellbeing.  Supporting seven languages, Wellbees, which positions itself as the one-stop-shop for improving employee wellness, believes attitudes in post-pandemic UK make it the perfect time to launch. Recruitment and retention are key drivers for 2022 and employee wellbeing programmes have provided a competitive advantage to organisations to attract new talent. 70% of employees participating in Wellbees’ survey* reported that one of the offerings they would look for in an organisation was an employee wellbeing programme in place. The employee net promoter score showed that 89.5% of employees who scored their company 9 or 10 (out of 10), regarded corporate wellbeing programmes as ‘valuable’ or ‘highly valuable’.

Sekel Tech is launching its successful hyperlocal SaaS platform in the UK, where hyperlocal activity, marketing and engagement has emerged as a major business imperative for enterprises particularly for those with 100+ locations.  Sekel Tech plans substantial investment to rapidly scale up and grow UK market share, establish a London office and use the UK as a base to then extend further into the EMEA region.  It points to data such as the UK having recorded a 39% increase in hyperlocal food deliveries over the last three years with a rapid evolution in digital logistics tools and technology as a key reason why it believes the UK market is ready for Sekel Tech.