Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: VELUX®, Quickchannel, Future Factory and more

Home improvement brand VELUX® has announced the re-launch of its Artist Residency 2022 – an inspirational, artistic collaboration that explores creativity and self-expression using natural light, with this year’s campaign titled; Transforming Spaces. Working with different artists from across Europe, the campaign highlights the significant role natural light plays in our lives, within our homes and how it affects our mood and emotions. Following a successful launch in 2021, this year’s Transforming Spaces – Artist Residency, in partnership with VICE, is bigger and better than ever – with more artists bringing to life their awe-inspiring concepts to an even bigger audience of design enthusiasts across Europe and beyond.

Quickchannel, a provider of high-performance online streaming and recording services, is celebrating two decades in the industry this spring as the company marks 20 years of its revolutionary technology. Founded in 2002 by Richard Zembron, Quickchannel was born as those in the event and staging industry couldn’t find an adequate streaming platform, so Zembron created a simple technology to meet the demands of those in the sector. As the years passed, the platform became more sophisticated and suitable for professional producers, and although based in Sweden, attracted customers across Europe, Australia and Canada. Today, Quickchannel’s streaming and webinar platform has continued to expand and supports organisations by giving them the ability to reach a wider range of customers without having to rely on third-party partners and external equipment. New for 2022, the latest feature on its webinar platform is a way to collaborate with multiple remote guest speakers. By launching the new product, Quickchannel eradicates the technical and resource-demanding processes of the past to create one platform and one workflow. Users will have the necessary tools to ensure efficiency in their work, with access to chat, polling, analytics and the ability to convert leads to sales prospects while adhering to the highest level of security.

Future Factory has rebranded to mark a decade in business and to celebrate a massive 35% surge in business growth since 2020. The founders of the new business consultancy for creative agencies, which has offices in London and Manchester, credits the growth to a significant shift in the new business climate during the pandemic, with agencies from all corners of the industry no longer having a strong, predictable pipeline of client spend and business. The identity was developed by design and brand consultancy DutchScot, and reflects how the new business consultancy aims to visually connect with creative agencies, rather than the ‘anti-design’ look of most lead-gen businesses. The visual language and identity throughout the new brand is a play on the word ‘factory’, to highlight that Future Factory’s hand-crafted approach to lead generation is anything but mass-produced. The original Future Factory brand was designed by co-founder Dan Sudron, based on a royalty-free vector that the team discovered later, was used by Thom Yorke on one of his album covers. 

Cheetah Digital, a cross-channel customer engagement solution provider for the modern marketer, has announced it has strengthened its partnership with Castorama, part of the British DIYgroup Kingfisher, to rapidly scale its customer loyalty strategy. After exploring options with Cheetah Digital, it became apparent that what Castorama desired was a redesign of its customer data platform. The customer data platform allows the storage of data and therefore, enriches its various systems. This data is what feeds Cheetah Messaging, resulting in messages being sent that are aligned with customer preferences and expectations. From its brainstorming and planning sessions with Cheetah Digital, a new world of relationship marketing, replete with personalised experiences at each critical touchpoint for Castorama was born.

Royal FloraHolland was in the midst of a digital transformation when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Thanks to its supply chain solutions provider, Blue Yonder, Royal FloraHolland was able to accelerate the move to Blue Yonder’s SaaS-based warehouse management solution (WMS), powered by Microsoft Azure, to manage and support its high-volume fulfilment logistics in its warehouses. With Blue Yonder, Royal FloraHolland will be able to: build a floriculture supply chain infrastructure for growers and their buyers, gain more end-to-end visibility from growers (greenhouse) to hubs and their buyers and transition from auction-based (supply-driven) logistics to fulfilment and order picking (demand-driven) logistics over the coming period. Blue Yonder’s WMS will allow Royal FloraHolland to fully digitise its warehouses and gain improved inbound and outbound visibility into shipments, as well as optimise operations to ensure accuracy, timeliness, efficiency, and compliance. The cooperative is looking to implement Luminate Warehouse Tasking next. This will further enable task optimisation through advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) to eliminate congestion and improve completion throughput. 

The French Tennis Federation and global technology company: OPPO, a Premium Partner of Roland-Garros since 2019, are delighted to announce the renewal of their partnership agreement for the next two editions of the tournament (2022 and 2023). This collaboration between the Parisian Grand Slam and OPPO is centred around innovation and technology. Roland-Garros and OPPO share the same values and aim to constantly reinvent themselves in order to offer an optimal user experience. OPPO recently launched a new brand proposition, “Inspiration Ahead”, which affirms this ambition and ties in with the Roland-Garros tournament’s new signature, “Move the lines, with style”. Within the framework of the 2022 tournament (from 16th May to 5th June), OPPO, who benefit from extensive visibility on the stadium’s show courts, will roll out the “RG x OPPO Photo Gallery”, a digital exhibition of photos taken exclusively with OPPO‘s newest flagship device: Find X5 Pro, thus unlocking its immense potential of unique imaging capabilities. These photos will also be displayed during the Roland-Garros tournament, in order to allow the spectators in the stadium to admire them. This year once again, OPPO will collaborate with the “Shot of the Day”, a video of every day’s best shot or rally, which will be posted on the tournament’s various digital platforms.  

Neat, a pioneering video device company, and Maverick AV Solutions, a global audiovisual (AV) distribution specialist, part of Tech Data, a TD SYNNEX company, have announced a partnership to bring Neat’s groundbreaking video devices and experiences to customers across Europe. Under the agreement, Maverick AV Solutions, will distribute Neat’s complete product portfolio to customers in 18 countries across Europe.  Neat and Maverick AV Solutions share a common vision to think differently about meetings and meeting spaces to enable exceptional collaboration for distributed and hybrid teams. Maverick AV Solution’s ‘Smart Meetings’ portfolio delivers collaboration solutions tailored to each customer’s specific needs, which perfectly complements Neat’s innovative and unique video devices, designed for better meetings across all kinds of spaces.  

The Sopra Steria Group, a European Tech company recognised for its consulting, digital services and software development, has announced that it has achieved the AWS Migration Competency. This competency signifies that Sopra Steria has an end-to-end expertise in optimising AWS migration planning, cost efficiency, security, availability, and performance, with the provider’s cloud technologies. Achieving this competency differentiates Sopra Steria as an AWS Partner that follows best practices, enhanced by track record of success and deep technical proficiency. As a trusted advisor, Sopra Steria Digital & Cloud Center of Excellence Teams help to build the foundations required for complex migrations and modernisation in the cloud. They assess the customer’s business goals, recommend appropriate evolution scenario strategies, tailor a migration plan to these needs, and advise any potential Cloud Ops Transformation or outsourcing strategy, to deliver the expected customer’s value in a timely manner.

An analysis of the investment app market from app analytics and marketing platform App Radar, has found that the top UK apps for trading and investing gained over 1.38m downloads on Google Play store in 2021, up almost 40% on 2020 figures. Taking into account Apple App Store downloads – the total in 2021 could be as high as 2.6 million. This brings total estimated investment app downloads to 7.1 million or 13% of the adult population. App Radar’s analysis is consistent with its research on European FinTech unicorns which found that app downloads increased 33% in 2021, with Trade Republic and BitPanda adding 1.1m users and 500k users respectively. App Radar analysed Google Play Store data of nine of the UK’s biggest financial investment, savings and pension management apps – including traditional investment choices such as Hargreaves Lansdown and fintechs Plum, Nutmeg and Wealthify.

WithSecure™, formerly known as F-Secure Business, and 10 other European organizations have cofounded the CYBERSPACE project. The project is a 3-year initiative funded by the European Commission to support European law enforcement agencies and improve their capacity to investigate and counter cyber crime. The CYBERSPACE consortium is composed of 11 law enforcement agencies, businesses, and research organizations from 8 different countries: Bavarian Police Academy (Germany), Trilateral Research (Ireland), WithSecure™ (Finland), FORTH (Greece), KEMEA Center for Security Studies (Greece), Privanova (France), French Ministry of the Interior (France), Netherlands Forensics Institute (Netherlands), Swedish National Forensics Institute (Sweden), Ertzaintza (Spain), and Tecnalia (Spain). The group aims to help organizations work together to compile and share information and intelligence related to cyber attacks and cyber crime. It also aims to develop new tools to help law enforcement and other defenders investigate and respond to attacks. WithSecure™ has the unique distinction of being the consortium’s sole member from the cyber security industry. As a result, it will take leading roles in the consortium’s efforts to enhance cooperation between law enforcement and the private sector, as well as in developing law enforcements’ cyber attack investigation capabilities. 

Wolters Kluwer has announced CCH® Tagetik ESG & Sustainability Performance Management, further extending its comprehensive regulatory compliance offering. The pre-built expert solution combines Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives and financial performance to enable companies to create powerful ESG reporting and manage compliance requirements while driving their sustainable growth strategies. With the more stringent EU Taxonomy taking effect from January 2023 and mounting stakeholder pressure, the office of finance, as well as compliance and ESG professionals, need complete confidence that their organization is compliant with evolving ESG requirements. CCH® Tagetik ESG & Sustainability Performance Management accelerates compliance for EU Taxonomy, GRI, SASB, and other standards and frameworks by using pre-built and extendable processes to aggregate and analyze complex data and automatically generate ESG reports for disclosure. Beyond compliance, customers benefit from better, faster decision-making, to drive sustainable growth and combat risk through the unification of ESG data with financial results, integrated plans, and scenario analysis.

Web3 Super Agency, Hype Partners, has announced its acquisition of Web3 recruitment agency Suited Recruitment for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is a strategic move for the business as it continues its mission to help Web3 organisations grow in the face of an industry-wide talent crisis. Following the acquisition, Suited Recruitment will rebrand to We3 Talent to better reflect the full suite of services it will offer to lessen the strain on hiring managers beyond recruitment. These services will include talent acquisition and headhunting to help protocols acquire the right   people for growth. We3 Talent founders Rob Parry and Dan Watson join the senior management team at Hype Partners, and the business will sit as an independent brand within the Hype Partners group. Suited has helped Hype Partners scale its team from 75 to 150 in the past 6 months and brings with it other notable clients, including Web3 behemoths Polygon and Harmony as it becomes We3 Talent. Together, Hype Partners and We3 Talent will give Web3 firms confidence to scale their workforce alongside growth services which enable organisations to scale their communities and developer ecosystems.  

Footballco, the world’s largest digital football content and media business, has agreed to buy Kooora, the largest digital sports publisher in the Middle East in a mid-eight-figure all-cash deal. The acquisition will complement Footballco’s current footprint in the Middle East which is served by seven local editions of GOAL, published in both English and Arabic and more than doubles Footballco’s audience in the region to 42m football fans and increases its monthly global reach to 640 million. The acquisition of the Dubai-based publisher comes at a time when fans across the world are looking ahead to the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East. Kooora is published in Arabic and English and reaches an average of 25 million unique users a month and has a strong social media presence, especially across Gen-Z platforms, TikTok and Snapchat, which generate in excess of 17m monthly video views. To further expand Footballco’s presence in the Middle East, the company will be moving its regional headquarters to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, integrating both Kooora and GOAL’s operations in the region.

AstroPay, the online payment solution of choice for over five million users in the world, has strengthened its digital payment offering in Brazil by delivering the smoothest user journey via the local payment method Pix. AstroPay has enabled payments via Pix since it was launched in October 2020 amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Created and managed by the Central Bank of Brazil, Pix’s payments volume already makes up more than 80% of debit and credit card transactions in Brazil. AstroPay will be offering two direct ways to pay with Pix to provide faster, streamlined, and convenient payments for both merchants and users. This includes the Pix native view and Software Developer Kit (SDK) for merchants. The Pix native view directs the user to AstroPay’s checkout straight from the merchant’s site, while the Pix QR code will be shown directly, avoiding users from being redirected to Pix’s site. This option is available to all merchants and has already improved their sales conversion rate by 7% to 15%. The new flow is available to all merchants that have AstroPay’s solution integrated via SDK, which will bring the Pix QR to the merchant’s cashier.

Global Intelligent Automation leader Laiye has announced its acquisition of Mindsay, a European enterprise chatbot and voicebot platform. The addition of conversational artificial intelligence advances Laiye’s goal of becoming the leading provider of next-generation Intelligent Automation software worldwide. Laiye also plans to set up a new R&D hub in Paris. Guillaume Laporte will become the General Manager of Laiye’s international chatbot business. Mindsay co-founders Ilias Hicham and Pierre Pakey will become Head of Product for Laiye’s international chatbot business and Head of Product Innovation for the Intelligent Document Process product line, respectively.