citybiz+ Brandtech Closes $115M Series C to Double Down on GenAI

The Brandtech Group, founded nearly a decade ago with the aim of using technology to make all marketing “better, faster and cheaper,” has closed a whopping $115 million Series C, as it doubles down on generative artificial intelligence, or GenAI. Its investors include France’s Fimalac, London-based Nendo Labs, and New York’s Mousse Partners and Bansk Group, with the deal reportedly valuing the marketing firm at $4 billion.

Initially launched as You and Mr. Jones, New York-based Brandtech also announced the induction of former Lazard International CEO Matthieu Bucaille as its global chief financial officer, as incumbent Jean-Marc Antoni transitions into a part-time advisory role effective January 2025.

‘Everybody An Agency’

“The mobile phone made everyone a creator — GenAI makes everyone an ad agency,” said Brandtech Group founder and CEO David Jones. “GenAI is going to profoundly change, not just every aspect of marketing, but the whole of business,” added the former global CEO of Havas.

Jones has been upbeat about technology driving marketing, right from the get-go. Known for his sage words, in 2019 he predicted that AI would create an “intelligence economy.” Jones says his firm has welcomed GenAI since OpenAI founder Sam Altman predicted that GenAI would handle 95% of the marketing work of agencies and creatives.

Bucaille, in fact, alluded to Jones’ “original” deck in 2015 that revealed him as an unabashed ally of technology. That slide reportedly laid out how artificial intelligence and technology would change marketing beyond all belief. “It’s been remarkable to watch that happen, despite so many people dismissing it at the time, and to see how they have built the #1 GenAI marketing group in the world,” said Bucaille.

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Acquisition-led Growth
Over the years, Jones has walked the talk, making a series of technology-enabled acquisitions to bring Brandtech to its current position of strength. None has likely been more critical than Pencil, which Brandtech bought last June. Pencil is the only marketing company that has used GenAI to create over one million ads. Pencil, Brandtech says, generates ads 10 times faster, and its ads perform doubly better, besides costing up to 50% less than traditional methods. In March, Pencil was named in Fast Company’s list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies.

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Brandtech believes technology has been key to its above-average rates of growth. The company claims average annual organic growth of over 20% since launch. Its clients include Google, Microsoft, Unilever, LVMH, Morgan Stanley, Bayer, TikTok, Diageo, Reckitt and Renault-Nissan. Eight of the world’s top 10 global advertisers, and nearly half the world’s top 100 spenders are Brandtech’s clients.

Besides Pencil, Brandtech last year acquired the marketing firm Jellyfish from France’s Fimalac. Its other acquisitions include e-commerce tech platform Acorn-I, and Inside Ideas Group’s Oliver, a digital studio.