News release – 27 June 2018
Signal Media, the artificial intelligence-powered reputation management and decision support platform, today announced that it had raised $16m (£12m) in a Series B round. The funding round was led and priced by GMG Ventures LP, the independent VC fund whose limited partner is The Scott Trust, owner of The Guardian news organisation. MMC Ventures was the largest investor in the round, which included a debt facility from Kreos Capital. Other investors include Frontline, Hearst Ventures, Reed Elsevier Ventures and LocalGlobe.
Signal tackles the information overload facing executives as they seek information they need to help shape their decisions. Signal applies a layer of machine learning to extract insight from over 2.8m global online, print, television, radio and regulatory sources, translated in real time in over 100 languages from 200 markets. This insight is placed in a powerful self-serve application, giving executives personalised real-time awareness into the conversations, market movements and issues affecting their world.
Focusing initially on reputation management for PR and communications, Signal directly challenges large incumbent providers such as WPP’s Kantar, Cision and Isentia in a market worth over $2.2bn, expected to grow to $4.2bn by 2022. Signal is now expanding into risk management for tax and compliance, as well as business development in financial and legal services.
Today, Signal has over 200 clients including Allen & Overy, Amnesty International, British Airways, E.ON, TalkTalk, Thomas Cook and Whitbread – among many other household names. The firm’s headcount has doubled to almost 100 people in a year, and has more than quadrupled revenues since its Series A round in September 2016.
The $16m investment will be used to expand further into the US and accelerate Signal’s mission to uncover the ‘unknown unknowns’ facing businesses today, highlighting the risks and opportunities so leaders can take effective action.
“We have a system that’s constantly evolving and getting smarter and more intuitive for our customers as they use it,” explains David Benigson, Signal’s CEO and founder. “Most businesses above a certain size already have a business intelligence tool that enables them to analyse their internal data in considerable depth. Our objective is to provide senior leaders with as much clarity and transparency about what’s happening outside of their organisation as they have inside it.”
“GMG Ventures’ investment strategy is to focus on talented management teams and innovative companies that are disrupting the news and digital media sector. Signal’s sophisticated AI engine is changing how people consume news and information and is redefining how businesses and organisations leverage insight as part of their long term strategy,” says Alan Hudson, founder and Managing Partner at GMG Ventures. “Signal has a focused management team who we believe are going to win in this emerging space. We are delighted to lead this new investment round alongside world-class investors.”
“We first backed Signal to develop their market-leading AI media monitoring tool, innovating in a space where every large company has a solution but few are happy with it”, says Simon Menashy, Partner at MMC Ventures. “It’s now become clear that their technology can be applied to solve all kinds of other information problems businesses face. We’re delighted to be significantly increasing our investment and backing Signal’s next phase of growth.”
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About Signal Media
Signal is an AI-powered decision support company that aggregates, analyses and makes sense of the world’s data – including news, social media and regulatory data – transforming them into actionable insights for business leaders. Cutting edge artificial intelligence enables businesses to track changes to their world in real-time – from competitors, to regulation, to their own reputation – with certainty and clarity. Signal gives business the information they need to know and the information they didn’t know they needed, to make smarter, faster business decisions. Signal makes the unknown, known.
About GMG Ventures LP
GMG Ventures LP, a venture capital fund whose sole limited partner is the Scott Trust, owner of the Guardian and other assets, invests in early stage businesses focused on developing the next generation of media technology which will accelerate GMG’s strategy, or be adjacent and disruptive to the digital media sector. As part of their strategy, they seek to support portfolio companies by leveraging Guardian resources such as potential access for start-ups to The Guardian’s extensive global network.
About MMC Ventures
MMC Ventures is a research-led venture capital firm. Founded in 2000 the firm has backed more than 60 high-growth technology companies from the Seed and Series A stage. MMC focuses on scaling enterprise software and consumer internet companies with the potential to disrupt huge markets. Based in London, the firm has over £220 million under management and is investing c. £40 million annually.
Other companies MMC has backed include; APEXX, Bloom & Wild, DigitalGenius, Echo, Elder, Gousto, Interactive Investor, NewVoiceMedia, Masabi, Opal, Peak, SafeGuard, Senseye and Sky-Futures.