Our first exit — Monotype to acquire Olapic

The Olapic team at work — Pioneers of visual “earned content”

We are delighted to announce that Olapic has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Monotype (Nasdaq: TYPE) for approximately $130m. The transaction is expected to close in Q3. This is an important milestone for Felix Capital, as this is our first strategic exit, and Olapic is such a great illustration of our investment themes and our ambition with the fund.

Olapic was the largest investment made by the fund, when Felix co-led a $15m B round in June 2015, with our friends at Unilever Ventures (one of our LPs). Olapic is a SaaS business, with a leading visual marketing platform for the curation, activation, and analysis of Earned Content. They work with hundreds of global brands to help them access images and videos from real people, creating more personalised and powerful brand experiences. Olapic’s technology curates consumer photos and videos from a range of social media sites, identifies content that is most influential in driving engagement and conversion, and provides analytics on revenue, performance, and engagement.

Pau, Luis, and Cabo, Olapic’s co-founders

It was started in New-York in 2010 by Pau Sabria, Luis Sanz, and Jose de Cabo, three Spanish founders, all friends from NYU, with offices across Europe and in Argentina and a team of c. 200 people. Our role was very focused on supporting Cabo expand in Europe, where the Olapic signed some major customers including Unilever, L’Oreal, H&M or Adidas.

Olapic is a great illustration of the strategy of the Felix fund and the key trends we seek to get exposure to. We described the background and the investment thesis in details in this post last year. Reading it again, all the points are still valid, paving the way for this transaction. Olapic gave us exposure to key trends we have fundamental belief in, such as the rise of digital commerce, social media and the reinvention of marketing by technology. In particular, Olapic is at the intersection of our themes around “visual content rules” and the “tech-enablement of the CMO”. The company was not seeking a sale but the founders felt compelled by the combination with Monotype, which approached Olapic a few months ago. Monotype (Nasdaq: TYPE) is public, with a $1bn market capitalisation and a background as the typeface company (it was created in 1887 and owns right to Helvetica and many other fonts). They even recently worked with Transport for London to reinvent the font used for many years and so familiar to us Londoners (the updated typeface Johnston100 now includes symbols used on social media, including the hashtag and “@” sign.).

We are delighted to see a company with such a tradition in design make a strategic acquisition of a Felix portfolio company. This is a highly strategic transaction for them as they view Olapic as their strengthening their evolution into a digital world. More details on the transaction are here, on the Monotype site. We believe that this is the shape of things to come, many companies will follow the path of Monotype buying Olapic, or Unilever buying Dollar Shave Club. It’s fundamentally about digital transformation, something that cannot be done just internally.

Selling a company, especially so fast, is always a strange feeling, split between the satisfaction of having supported founders with all our hearts for part of the journey and the sadness of seeing them leave, but they will always be part of the Felix family! We loved the journey and we will miss our engaged chats with the team, our celebrations of key customer wins and the sheer talent and ambition of these founders. This is a great move by Monotype and we can wait to see how Olapic will continue to thrive as part of it.