Blackbird leads $2 million pre-Seed round into martech startup MagicBrief

- July 6, 2023 2 MIN READ
MagicBrief cofounders Dan Nolan and George Howes
MagicBrief cofounders Dan Nolan and George Howes
 Sydney startup MagicBrief has raised $2 million in a pre-Seed round for its marketing platform which acts like the lovechild of Canva and Pinterest for advertising.

The round was led by Blackbird with support from Archangel Ventures. Several individual founders also chipped in as angel investors, including Vimeo’s Zach Klein, UsTwo’s Matt Miller, Tim Doyle from Eucalyptus, Spriggy’s Alex Badran and Halter’s Craig Piggot.

The funds will be used to hire a founding team and refine its first product offering.

MagicBrief will give marketing teams the tools they need for their creative workflow, from creating storyboards and creative briefs using drag and drop, to saving ads on social media for inspiration, alongside a library of more than 25,000 ads, along with their metadata and copy. The platform is also BETA testing an artificial intelligence tool that analyses another brand’s ads. 

MagicBrief co-founder and CEO George Howes was previously the creative director of Eucalyptus – now a cornerstone client of the startup – and ponied up with Dan Nolan, cofounder and CTO of MagicBrief.

“With more big brands moving away from an agency model and bringing their creative teams in-house, I noticed that they were still adopting outdated creative processes, the same workflows they had learnt from traditional advertising agencies,” Howes said.

“There’s a growing number of tech products that focus on analytics, tracking and attribution, but the most impactful variable, the creative itself, has largely been forgotten when it comes to marketing technology.”

He explains the concept as rolling three key elements into one: sourcing inspiration for brands to find their voice and aesthetic, develops concepts for ideas that can convert sales, and briefing, to give creators – influencers, writers, or celebrities endorsers – the brand knowledge and values, as well as creative guidelines, on the one platform.

“Startups and established brands alike are responding to economic pressures; tightening their belts. Having a smaller team of creatives in-house is low-hanging fruit, if they can get it right,” Howes said’

“Platforms like Tiktok are driving an overwhelming push towards short-form interest-based video creative, and requiring a growing number of these assets that many companies are struggling to keep up with.”

Alongside Eucalyptus, the nascent martech startup has also signed up Solawave, Lyka and canned mocktail makers Yes You Can.

Tim Doyle was so impressed, he bought into the company.

“Digital marketing is constantly having to evolve. Evolve to dodge pain points that are created by, say SEO changes, or a social media company’s policies being updated. Or even a new competitor that can pop up on the block literally overnight,” he said.

“A bunch of creatives sitting in a room together concepting ideas just isn’t fast enough these days for many brands to keep their heads above water, and it’s definitely not an effective use of modern marketing budgets that rely on eschewing any excess spending in favour of known successes. This often leads to safe, but bland creative work.”