Investment accelerates expansion and innovation strategies fueled by release of AI-enabled social technologies
TORONTO, ON – April 12, 2022 – Global digital and social innovation group, Viral Nation, today announced an initial funding round of CAD $250 million led by Eldridge, with participation from Maverix Private Equity, to fuel the company’s technology and market growth strategies. The investment will include the addition of Eldridge Co-founder, Chairman and CEO, Todd Boehly; Eldridge Principal, Jeff Wilbur; and Maverix Founder and Managing Partner, John Ruffolo, to Viral Nation’s board of directors.
Founded as an influencer marketing agency in 2014, Viral Nation has evolved to meet the needs of an impressive roster of Global 500 clients, and today encompasses full-service digital and social agency, VN Marketing; creator and athlete-influencer management agencies, VN Talent and VN Sports; and software division, VN Tech.
With this funding, Viral Nation will accelerate the public release of SaaS technologies powering internal operations and introduce new, AI-powered solutions to address opportunities driven both by explosive growth in the creator market – valued today at over $100 billion – and wider demand for responsible engagement and conduct across the rapidly-evolving social space.
“Viral Nation’s expertise in connecting brands, creators, and audiences gives them unique insight into the broader needs of organizations and individuals embracing new media,” said Boehly. “We’re excited to partner with them on expansion and innovation that enables everyone to grow and thrive across the entire social ecosystem.”
“As long-time industry pace-setters, Viral Nation embodies our vision of technology-enabled growth and disruption,” said Ruffolo. “I could not be more enthusiastic to back them for the Maverix Growth Equity Fund’s first investment.”
With locations throughout the Americas, Viral Nation will also invest in growing the company’s presence in new and existing markets, as well as expanding content services for creators, and doubling the size of its in-house engineering team. $150M of the investment will spearhead the company’s immediate growth plans, with an additional $100M to be allocated over the coming 18 months.
“The backing of both Eldridge and Maverix Private Equity is a powerful vote of confidence in our strategic and technical capabilities,” said Joe Gagliese, Co-founder and CEO, Viral Nation. “We are passionate about applying technology to create meaningful connections, and honored to have two world-class partners who share our vision.”
About Viral Nation
Viral Nation is a global digital media innovation group that powers the social ecosystem through integrated solutions that align strategy, talent, media, and technology. Viral Nation includes full-service digital and social agency, VN Marketing; creator and athlete-influencer management agencies, VN Talent and VN Sports; and software division, VN Tech.
As the global leader in influencer marketing, Viral Nation’s diverse, multidisciplinary team is proud to fuel growth for the world’s leading brands, including Anheuser-Busch, The Coca Cola Company, Disney, Hasbro, Meta (formerly Facebook), Tencent, Tim Hortons, TJX, Uber, and Vivid Seats. For more information, please visit www.viralnation.com.
Eldridge invests in businesses across the Insurance, Asset Management, Technology, Mobility, Sports & Gaming, Media, Real Estate, and Consumer landscapes. The firm seeks to build and grow businesses led by proven management teams that have demonstrated leadership and experience to scale an enterprise. Eldridge is headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, with additional offices in Beverly Hills, New York, and London. To learn more about Eldridge, please visit www.eldridge.com.
About Maverix Private Equity
Maverix Private Equity is a Toronto-based private equity firm. It is led by an experienced and talented team with the background, network, and track record necessary to successfully execute on an investment strategy of technology-enabled growth and disruption. Maverix is currently investing out of its inaugural fund, the Maverix Growth Equity Fund I, of USD$500M. Maverix targets North American companies with rapidly growing revenue and evidence of a profitable business model. To learn more about Maverix Private Equity, please visit: www.maverixpe.com.
For Viral Nation and Eldridge
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For Maverix Private Equity
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