After a rapid eight months of growth and adding 2000 professionals to its network, serial entrepreneur Pete Sayburn and team gain investment to disrupt the marketing agency industry
A team of ‘second time round entrepreneurs’ vowing to transform how marketing agencies are hired has raised £1.5m of funding from Fuel Ventures.
Studiospace connects major brands with independent, specialist agencies in the creative, digital and marketing arenas via its smart platform.
Since launching in January this year the business has signed up major brands including Aviva, Jaguar Land Rover, Gala Games and AXA.
The London-based company has also recruited over 100 independent agencies spread across 12 countries and 36 cities.
“Big brands want new talent, but smaller indie businesses can’t cope with the admin and red tape that big brands demand from their suppliers,” says Studiospace co-founder and CEO, Peter Sayburn.
“As a result, hiring agencies often involves a beauty parade of well known names grabbing all the best briefs. This era needs to come to an end and Studiospace has the tech to achieve that.”
Prior to Studiospace, Sayburn was founder and CEO of innovation company Market Gravity which he and his team grew to over 100 people before exiting to Deloitte Digital in 2017.
He has rejoined forces with his former Market Gravity colleagues – Gideon Hyde, Robin Scarborough, Phil Kohler and Paul Bowman – with the intention of developing another fast growth business.
“We saw a chance to disrupt the marketing industry and went for it. It took us 10 years to grow Market Gravity before sale. But with this business, we are aiming for super fast growth. In the past eight months, we’ve brought 2000 agency staff into our network.”
Shiv Patel, investment director at Fuel Ventures, which is run by serial entrepreneur Mark Pearson, says Studiospace’s rapid growth since founding was of major appeal.
“Having seen Studiospace’s growth since they began trading at the start of this year, we were delighted to have the opportunity to invest in such an exciting business.
“The management team have exceptional experience, both within the industry and also through having successfully scaled and exited a previous business.
“This, coupled with the major brands which have been using the platform already, made a compelling investment case for us. We look forward to working closely with Studiospace in the coming years to ensure the company’s continued success.”
The investment will be used to grow the business in the UK, and in Australia, where it has a growing office in Sydney, as well as to develop and further automate the Studiospace tech platform.
Senior and chief marketing officers (CMOs) use Studiospace to post briefs and criteria for new projects. The platform matches them to relevant suppliers, based on their choices.
Crucially, the company also provides standard contracts and terms of conditions, as well as handling payments, removing the administrative issues which often prevent small companies from working with bigger brands.
Sayburn believes he is disrupting how the marketing industry works.
“Digital technology should mean a senior marketer can stipulate precisely what they want and then find the perfect match in a few clicks,” Sayburn adds.
“Yet, at the moment, that’s not happening as digital hasn’t yet transformed how agencies are hired.
“We are attempting to bridge the gap between the biggest brands and those small but exciting indie agencies which are full of talent and original ideas.
“We are now effectively the fastest growing marketing services company in the world, with 2000 people in our network after just eight months. This investment from Fuel will enable us to continue to grow.”