VidMob Acquires Chiligum
When we announced VidMob’s Series C in February, I wrote about the evolving story of VidMob and our accelerating progress towards building the OS for Intelligent Creativity. Looking back on that now, it’s hard to believe that only 8 months have passed. Put simply, I dramatically underestimated how rapidly we could grow and improve as both a product and a team. In one of the most challenging labor markets of our lifetimes, VidMob has grown from 130 employees at the beginning of the year, to now over 250. Buoyed by our original mission-orientation and our ever-expanding efforts to provide a model for how a 21st century, stakeholder-driven company should behave, we’ve been able to buck the general trends and attract a steady stream of some of the most talented people on the planet, including some incredible additions to our Board. Purpose, it turns out, is a force multiplier.
The business has grown on all fronts, in every region of the world. Our product has expanded significantly; through (i) the addition of Creative Scoring - to help marketers establish (and maintain) a standard for creative excellence across all communications globally, and (ii) the steady expansion of the new data field that we helped create, Creative Analytics. Going into this year, one of our goals was to further the creation of the category of Intelligent Creative --the act of using creative analytics to inform data-driven improvements to creative itself. We could never have imagined that only a few months later, the Cannes Lions festival would invite us to produce a documentary on the Rise of Intelligent Creative as part of their official programming. We partnered with MIT, Google, Dentsu, BBDO, ABI and many others to create an informative film about the activities at the leading edge of this new science.
VidMob’s services-in-the-loop model has also expanded dramatically, as we’ve leveled up into new platform partnerships, new formats, new media types, and an expanding array of expert creators in the many tangential service areas necessary to help modern marketers succeed (eg. post-production expertise that’s data-driven and customized to each target platform, creative direction, strategic data analysis, and more). After all, intelligent creative is about using data and technology to augment human creativity (in all its forms), not replace it, and we remain locked on our original mission of evolving creativity for the better.
Today, VidMob’s platform is a foundation of AI-driven Creative Analytics that supports three core functions: (i) a highly-curated expert creator network for all of a marketer’s creative needs globally, (ii) VidMob’s Creative Studio, our award-winning technology platform that makes creativity intelligent, scalable and performant, and (iii) our Creative Scoring tools. It brings data and creativity back together after 25 years of industry separation, enabling a cycle of learning and creating that has a massive impact on client marketing performance. This is a great start. But if our goal is to build a whole solution for all of a modern marketer’s creative needs, there are clear areas of opportunity. One of the biggest of these is around the idea of Creative Automation. This is a new category of creative technology that automates mundane production steps in the creative process to meet the promise of addressable media with the necessary production speed and scale to drive real business performance.
VidMob + Chiligum
I couldn’t be more thrilled to announce VidMob’s acquisition of Chiligum, a leading Creative Automation technology company. Based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, we’ve known the Chiligum team for a while and have been increasingly working together as more and more of our clients struggle with scaling creative around structured product catalogs, taking full advantage of Dynamic Product Ad feeds, global-to-local creation, personalization, and many other aspects of the creative continuum that are best handled with technology.
The magic of Chiligum starts with their belief in video (we agree!) and is furthered by the fact that their platform is built on top of Adobe’s creative cloud -- thus enabling full creative canvas for marketers as the start point to dynamic video, as opposed to pre-set templates that fail to address the entire point of marketing communications; putting forward a unique, emotionally resonant touch-point for your product or brand. In combining Chiligum with VidMob, clients will now be able to get the best of both worlds - unique, brand-specific human-driven creativity as a start point, and automation for tasks that creators are less suited for, and would prefer not to tackle anyway. In the process, this integrated automation will help eliminate creative production bottlenecks and deliver quality, variety and personalization 90% faster than before.
As excited as we are about the Chiligum product, we’re equally excited about their incredible team. A female-founded company, Chiligum was created by Deborah Folloni. Deb was recently honored by Forbes and included on their 30 under 30 list. She’ll fit right in at VidMob, where 70% of our employees report to a woman on our management team. Ever wonder how we’ve been so successful to-date? I don’t want to give away all of our secrets, but this just might be one of the most important facts.
In the early days of VidMob, we often talked about being a company built for editors, by editors. We’ve always been creator-driven, and it’s the reason that “Believe in Human Creativity” sits at the top of our Core Values. Deb and the Chiligum team are no different. A designer by trade, she recognized the problem of scale first-hand and set out to build a company to solve it. Looking into the future and trying to see the problems that will arise for marketers as the creative underlying communications gets simultaneously more important, and more complex, is the bedrock of what we do here at VidMob. By adding Chiligum to our team, we’re far better today than we were yesterday. And I am more confident than ever that we’re on the right path towards building the OS for Intelligent Creativity. I can’t wait to get to work, together.