Snap Inc., Interpublic, And R/GA Name Companies For New Marketing Tech Venture Studio

Fast Company

As marketers and agencies continue to search for the perfect balance between data and creativity, three companies have teamed up to support a handful of startups with promising technology that could help their innovation aims. Agency R/GA is launching its latest venture studio program with holding company Interpublic (IPG) and Snap Inc., focused on mobile marketing tech, and now they’ve announced the eight participating companies, whose specialties span video creation and consumption, data, analytics, commerce, machine learning, and personalization.

Adludio is a sensory advertising platform connecting users and brands with high-impact creative and made-for-mobile experiences. Dashbot is a bot analytics platform that helps brands and developers increase user acquisition, engagement, and monetization. Humblee is a video platform to help companies tell stories at scale. Lytics is a data platform that helps companies personalize engagement with customers. PopWallet uses mobile wallet tech to help brand marketers manage promotions and other branded content. Quickframe creates short-form original video at scale. Relative Insight uses language data to help brands better understand and relate to audiences. And finally, Whalar helps brands connect with Instagram influencers.

R/GA executive vice-president and global chief operating officer Stephen Plumlee says the focus of the program is to explore what the next wave of marketing technology will be, given the prominence of social platforms and mobile engagement alongside the rise of AI, bots, and other analytics and personalization enabling technologies. “We worked to identify startups creating the products, tools, and services that will enable brands and agencies to leverage the full potential, reach, and consumer data that platforms like Snapchat can provide, and enable them to engage consumers with more relevant, strategic, and personalized content,” says Plumlee. “We specifically looked at startups who were making it easier for brands and advertisers to leverage social platforms as a whole.”

In a statement, Snap Inc. chief strategy officer Imran Khan said, “We are excited to work with and support the growing ecosystem of partners that are innovating in the mobile advertising space, from leaders like IPG and R/GA to the startups selected for this program. We believe it will help advertisers of all sizes take advantage of increasingly engaging and creative ad formats for smartphones.”

The program, hosted at R/GA’s New York office, ends on September 27 with an invite-only demo event where each startup will have the opportunity to present their products to industry leaders, investors, and press. Each company in the program will collaborate with and receive feedback and guidance from senior product and strategy leaders within Snap Inc. And, as with all R/GA Ventures programs, R/GA will be helping each company with product development, business strategy, marketing, branding, design, and technology services.

Plumlee says a program like this provides a unique opportunity for corporate partners to collaborate in the identification of market opportunities, and a programmatic approach to identifying startups, and partnering with them to pursue success in those markets.

“One unique aspect of the program was the opportunity for a company like Snap Inc. to directly connect their creative and product development teams with the R/GA and IPG agency teams whose clients are eager to leverage the platforms and products to reach consumers in new and more compelling ways,” says Plumlee.

This is the eighth venture studio program R/GA has run, with its ninth–Verizon Media Tech Venture Studio–set to kick off in July.

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