Rampersand, Startmate score exit as US media co snaps up marketing startup Brandcrush

- March 8, 2023 2 MIN READ
Brandcrush cofounders Matthew Hurle and Teresa April
Startmate-backed marketing startup Brandcrush has been acquired by NASDAQ-listed media firm Criteo five years after it launched.

The deal also delivers an exit for Rampersand, Luxury Escapes founder Adam Schwab, and other investors including Nicky Jackson, Jane Martino and Sean Taylor.

Brandcrush was launched in 2018 by former Tribe sales director Matthew Hurle, and marketing exec Teresa April. The platform connects brands and their events with small businesses, from cafes, to gyms, salons and co-working spaces, for customer engagement. Aside from its backing as part of the Startmate accelerator program, the company also raised $1 million in 2019.

The martech platform allows retailers and brands to manage media orders, inventory, and supplier management across all media channels. It deals with everything from in-store activations such as digital screens, point-of-sale displays, to out-of-store activations such as inbox sampling and inserts, and online activations such as digital circulars, email, and social.

Criteo’s retail media solutions include sponsored ads, on-site display, and off-site ads.

Criteo GM of global enterprise Sherry Smith said the acquisition will allow the company to offer an omnichannel monetisation solution for retailers to manage their media inventory.

“As marketers continue to invest in retail media, offline is emerging as the new frontier – and brands and agencies must be able to effectively plan, execute, and measure their campaigns in an integrated way,”she  said  “

“Brandcrush directly addresses the current market need for consolidated offline and online advertising management, and our combined solutions will make omnichannel retail media strategies a reality, empowering retailers to own their entire retail media ecosystems.”

Brandcrush CEO and cofounder Teresa Aprile said the merger with  Criteo will create a highly effective monetisation platform for retailers.

“With Criteo’s retail media client footprint of 175+ retailers and nearly 1,800 brands – unlike any others in the industry – we’re also tapping into their unique scale to truly harness the power of omnichannel across the entire advertising ecosystem,” she said.

Investors Paul Naphtali from Rampersand and Startmate CEO Michael Batko were delighted with the company’s success.

“We’re delighted for Teresa and her team. She is one of the most ambitious and tenacious founders we’ve had the pleasure of backing and she will continue to bring her vision to life as part of a larger machine,” Naphtali said.

“It’s also a solid outcome for her investors and we’re grateful for the huge effort of the entire Brandcrush team.”

Batko said incredibly excited for the Brandcrush team

“As a founder, you are building a company to solve a real customer problem, through this acquisition the team can have an even wider impact faster to solve a real customer pain point,” he said.