Tessa Bousfield posted an articleAs an investor he has an informed opinion about SaaS marketing and digital customer acquisition. see more
Edited by: Breandan McGhee
Interviewer: Paul Stephenson
SaaS Marketing Insights Episode 15: Owen Matthews, Wesley Clover
by 47 Insights
Owen Matthews grew up around startups, started his first software business before leaving School, sold it and went on to join his family’s firm, Wesley Clover, investing in and growing tech companies. As an investor he has an informed opinion about SaaS marketing and digital customer acquisition based on more than 20 years’ experience in international markets.
Listen to the show below:
Jim Hayhurst posted an articleCanadian tech company Pretio Interactive: record growth, new platform launch, acquires GravityLab. see more
Pretio Interactive, a technology-driven performance marketing company, is pleased to announce its 2016 results alongside two key achievements in the first month of 2017. The company organically grew key financial metrics by double and triple digits; launched the first version of its Apollo™ programmatic marketing platform; and completed the acquisition and integration of GravityLab Inc.’s technology assets and team.
“2016 finished with strong performance across all groups in the company,” said CEO Jim Hayhurst. “Not only did our Atlas media buying teams produce record revenue and profits, they worked closely with our developers to inform the machine learning capabilities of our first version of Apollo. In so doing, we were able to achieve our goals for the year and confidently act on the unique opportunity to bring the GravityLab team and technology to Pretio in January.”
Year-over-year results included 70% revenue growth; a 5X improvement in gross margins; 40% EBITDA growth; and record overall profitability in the fourth quarter.
In Apollo, the company is now offering a select group of brands the ability to harness the power of programmatic advertising, while paying only for performance. Apollo’s real-time analysis of dozens of key demographic and behavioral attributes automates media-buying decisions to maximize ROI and provide complete transparency to advertisers. Apollo is currently in use by tier-one CPG advertisers and data-driven marketing agencies who need to target better and spend smarter.
In mid-January, Pretio completed the acquisition of assets from GravityLab, including its campaign tracking and optimization platform. In addition, key sales and technology members of the GravityLab team immediately joined Pretio to bolster its internal video campaign capabilities.
“GravityLab built a unique and valuable technology for performance marketers,” said Pretio Founder & COO Ty Sinclair. “More importantly, the team behind it is one of the best in the video advertising space. We were fortunate to be able to integrate this high-capacity group into Pretio in such a quick and seamless transaction. As expected, our team welcomed them with open arms and we have already seen tremendous growth in revenue, profitability and technical insights in the first weeks of 2017.”
Now in its fourth year, Pretio has grown its team twofold in the past 18 months. The team was recognized in 2016 with two VIATEC Awards: CTO Rob O'Dwyer (Employee of the Year) and CEO Jim Hayhurst (Colin Lennox Award for Technology Champion).
About Pretio Interactive: Pretio Interactive combines machine-learning and real-time consumer interaction to serve personalized ads that help marketers excel at customer acquisition. The company is based in Victoria, BC, one of Canada’s fastest growing technology hubs, and is backed by veteran Canadian investors Wesley Clover International and Yaletown Venture Partners.
Tessa Bousfield posted an articleOwen Matthews sees China as a solid investment. see more
Source: Times Colonist
Author: Andrew Duffy
Chinese trade opportunities loom large for Victoria firms
Despite slower economic growth in recent years, China remains a market full of potential for Canadian companies. And for some Victoria firms, it may represent a massive missed opportunity if they don’t get into the game.
Owen Matthews sees China as a solid investment. Matthews is chairman of the Alacrity Foundation, which provides mentorship and guidance to start-up firms and engineers in order to create new tech companies.
A single city, Shanghai, with a population of 24 million, is better funded and has more wealth than Canada, he said.
Matthews, who is also a partner with investment firm Wesley Clover, said companies have the potential to be valued higher there given the availability of capital and the room for growth.
“Not being part of that in some way is a huge missed opportunity,” he said.
Matthews, who has just established a branch of the Alacrity Foundation in Shanghai, said China is starting to open up and the country is more open to technology partnerships in particular. But he warned it’s important for Canadian entrepreneurs to find a Chinese partner who they can trust.
“You have to have people you can work with, whose interests are aligned so when the Victoria company does well somebody there also does well,” Matthews said, noting that partnership is key as it can mean the feet on the ground in China will protect the firm’s interests.
The seven year-old Alacrity Foundation may be able to do some of that for Canadian firms. The non-profit entity, supported by industry and government, has branches around the world, including Turkey, India, France, the U.K. and now in China.
Matthews said each of the Alacrity branches gives interested companies an insight into global markets.
With its arrival in China, Alacrity’s network has trusted feet on the ground in Shanghai that can help open doors, or offer advice.
The mayor of Victoria hopes local firms are looking at the opportunity in China. Lisa Helps, who returned from a two-week trade mission to China in late October, told a gathering of local business people this week that Victoria firms are well positioned to take advantage of China’s potential. She said she believes the $22,000 trip was a huge success and has laid the ground work for trade deals to be signed with a country that is continually changing and opening up.
“The central government is focused on growing its economy in a sustainable manner and they need the innovation and technology we have here,” Helps said
Matthews said having the Victoria mayor join local firms on trips to China can open a lot of doors.
“It’s a great endorsement,” Matthews said. “It makes a big difference in China. Their assumption is government is a very important player in our economy. Having a mayor shaking hands beside a tech company goes a long, long way.”
It can also help the tourism industry, said Paul Nursey, chief executive of Tourism Victoria, who was in China at the same time.
Nursey said Victoria has seen strong growth from China — 20 per cent each year over the last few years — but it can do better.
“We have a great brand and a great product,” Nursey said. “But we are being more deliberate in targeting overnight stays.”
Nursey said Tourism Victoria has changed its sales team to be more digital savvy, and able to converse in China, as they go after a more lucrative slice of the Chinese market — the individual traveller rather than packaged tours. That’s a segment growing as a result of an emerging middle class. “Now it’s about the hard work on the ground and pitching, it’s a sales proposition and we have refined our sales approach,” he said.