Font giant Monotype acquires startup Olapic

Digital typesetting and typeface design firm Monotype agreed to acquire venture-backed Olapic for about $130 million. Olapic provides a marketing platform that helps brands collect and utilize content created by social media users. The New York-based company raised

The New York-based company raised about $21 million in venture funding from Scout Ventures, Longworth Venture Partners, Unilever Ventures and others, including Felix Capital, according to data from Thomson Reuters. Felix Capital’s founder and Managing Partner Frederic Court blogged that the sale is the firm’s first realized exit.

PRESS RELEASE

WOBURN, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Monotype (Nasdaq:TYPE), a leader in helping to empower expression and engagement through type, technology and expertise, today announced the intent to acquire Olapic for approximately $130 million. Olapic’s Earned Content Platform helps brands collect, curate, use and analyze user-generated content in the form of images and videos in their ecommerce experiences and across multiple marketing channels. This helps to create powerful branded experiences that drive consumer engagement and increase conversions.

The acquisition of Olapic is a foundational investment for Monotype to expand upon the company’s brand engagement strategy and extends the opportunity for Monotype to provide brands with solutions across two critical areas: marketing and design. Following the close of the acquisition, which is expected to occur in Q3 2016, Olapic will operate as a division of Monotype.

“Olapic will extend Monotype’s ability to help brands express their story and engage with customers in a richer, more impactful way,” said Scott Landers, President and CEO of Monotype. “Our value has always been predicated on type, technology and expertise, and Olapic strengthens us on all three fronts. Whether an ‘asset’ is type, branded emoji or chat, and now user-generated content, they all serve a similar purpose, which is to elevate a brand’s identity both online and offline. We also offer technology and expertise that maximizes the use and value of all of these assets to address customers’ most critical brand needs – whether defining brands or engaging with consumers in new, impactful ways. We believe that business success is ultimately the result of our people – and the combination of our organizations is truly powerful in terms of the value we can deliver.”

Pau Sabria, CEO and co-founder of Olapic, said, “We’re thrilled about this acquisition. By joining a company with such a deep history working with prominent brands, we believe that we’ll be able to accelerate our go-to-market process by fueling and investing in continued innovation of our Earned Content Platform. We’re excited about the collaboration and new opportunities that will come from integrating our solution into the Monotype portfolio and expanding the reach of both Monotype and Olapic offerings into the marketing and design teams at some of the world’s most popular brands.”

About Olapic and the UGC Market

User-generated content drives tremendous engagement and strong ROI for brands because it is created by real users, and therefore is perceived as more authentic and trustworthy. While many brands receive thousands of user-generated content posts each day, not all of those submissions are relevant and useful to their marketing efforts and often require several man hours to sort. Ensuring that the content is in line with brand guidelines, authorized for re-use by the content owner, and then deployed in the most effective way, remains a huge challenge for brands who are looking to establish a fluid process and get the most from this fast-growing market. Even if they are able to deploy the content as part of a campaign, brands often have little visibility into how the content is performing and how they can tie it into their existing marketing infrastructure.

Olapic’s Earned Content Platform combines proprietary algorithms and human intelligence to enable brands to help build trust and inspire action, at every touchpoint – while helping to identify, track and connect brands with their most influential ambassadors. Olapic’s technology platform collects, curates, extends and measures the performance of consumer and branded imagery to power marketing and ecommerce strategies across the stack, driving ROI, increasing average order value and impacting overall sales. Today, the company serves more than 400 brands across apparel, publishing, retail, consumer packaged goods, travel and leisure. Customers include companies like Calvin Klein, Hyatt, giggle, The North Face and L’Oreal.

Transaction Details

Monotype plans to acquire 100 percent of the equity securities of Olapic for a purchase price of approximately $130 million, pursuant to an agreement and plan of merger that contains customary representations, warranties and covenants. The closing is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, and is expected to close in Q3 2016. Monotype also plans to issue approximately $19 million worth of stock awards, which vest over time, to the founders and employees of Olapic.