American Discovery Capital (ADC)—a private equity firm focused on investing in leading family-owned and middle market companies in high-growth sectors—today announced its strategic growth investment in and partnership with SmartBug Media®. SmartBug® is the highest-rated HubSpot partner in the world and a leading Intelligent Inbound® marketing agency that assists businesses in generating leads, increasing awareness, and building brand loyalty through inbound marketing, digital strategy, design, marketing automation, and public relations. As part of its investment strategy, ADC will work closely with SmartBug to develop new growth channels and expand the company’s capabilities and team, while supporting its continued delivery of the highest levels of customer service and value.
ADC focuses on partnering with business owners and entrepreneurs who have built successful, established businesses with strong fundamentals that can benefit from ADC’s operational experience and capital to support future growth. Its partnership with SmartBug demonstrates ADC’s ability to identify unique investment opportunities and exemplifies its partnership approach with innovative owners and entrepreneurs.
“SmartBug demonstrates the quality and attractive attributes we look for in an investment,” said Mike Denbeau, partner at ADC. “Its unique business model—which includes strong and steady growth, recurring revenue and long-term customer relationships, a strong culture of innovation, and a unique ‘remote’ business model that provides access to a nationwide talent recruitment pool—has already proven very successful in the digital agency space and is one we look to build upon in partnership with the company’s highly talented management team.”
John Joliet, partner at ADC, added, “Over a decade ago, Ryan Malone anticipated the coming shift from traditional outbound marketing to data-driven, inbound marketing services for middle market growth companies, and he saw an opportunity to build a world-class professional team by employing an innovative ‘remote’ business model. We believe this unique philosophy has paved the way for SmartBug to develop its strong reputation throughout the industry as a market leader and respected advisor, which has resulted in numerous awards and accolades over the past few years. ADC believes that SmartBug’s ability to ‘productize’ this value in a recurring, long-term relationship model using its proprietary recruitment, employee training, and customer delivery processes makes its future prospects even more compelling.”
SmartBug has a number of unique and impressive attributes that made it an attractive investment for ADC:
- SmartBug is a leader in the high-growth inbound marketing sector, which is benefiting from a rapid shift of spend from traditional outbound marketing channels to data-driven, digital inbound marketing.
- Unlike the traditional agency model, which has historically focused on project-based, short-term campaign work that can be high cost with unclear ROI implications for the client, SmartBug offers customers a compelling, data-driven retainer model. This model allows customers to outsource their digital marketing needs on a turnkey basis, driving long-term value for the client with a heavy emphasis on ROI.
- The need for SmartBug’s services is especially mission-critical in the large middle market segment of the U.S. economy, where companies typically do not have in-house digital marketing capabilities and access to the level of marketing talent that larger firms possess, creating a large untapped opportunity for SmartBug.
- As the highest-rated HubSpot Partner in the world and HubSpot’s Global Partner of the Year, SmartBug has won a number of prominent industry awards recognizing the quality of the company’s work product, team, and workplace culture, including winning more than 150 MarCom Awards in the past two years alone, making the Inc. 5000 list three years in a row, being named to the inaugural Adweek 100: Fastest Growing Agencies list, and earning a number of Comparably and Great Place to Work® awards.
- SmartBug’s strong value proposition and unique retainer model have driven strong growth for the company and provide a reliable base of recurring revenue to re-invest in growing the company’s customer relationships and talent.
“We are very excited to partner with ADC, and we feel like their team and goals align fully with our values, our remote business model, where we believe the market is headed, and most importantly, our people,” said Ryan Malone, founder and CEO of SmartBug Media. “The ADC team is a uniquely talented and forward-looking group that understands and values the overarching purpose of our remote model: that you can win in business while retaining the flexibility to do the things that matter to you and your family. We believe there is a large, underserved opportunity to provide high quality digital marketing services to clients with the cost certainty and emphasis on ROI that clients highly value and our unique model affords, at scale—and we are excited to partner with ADC to address this compelling market need.”
SOURCE American Discovery Capital