The meteoric rise of collaborative design startup Canva – now valued at $ 40 billion – and conversely, the viral interest we’ve seen in the NFT market where you can ‘buy’ a share of a digital asset by limited edition, are two examples. of how the tech world today revolves around – and values - eye-catching ways of interacting with visual media online. Today, another startup that has built a business around the same concept – as it applies specifically to brand management for organizations – is announcing funding because it is finding some traction on its own.
Frontify, which provides a cloud-based platform for businesses to centralize and distribute all of their branded assets to those who work in and with their businesses, closed a $ 50 million round of funding, funding the Swiss startup ( based in St. Gallen) will use both to invest in the development of its technology and to gain a deeper foothold in new markets such as the United States
Revaia (the VC formerly known as Gaia Capital Partners) led the round with new funder High Sage Ventures and previous backers EQT Ventures, Blossom Capital and Tenderloin Ventures also participated. EQT led the company’s previous $ 22.3 million funding round in January 2020.
This last round was just before the Covid-19 pandemic went global, and as with other tech companies based on the concepts of distributed, cloud-based and remote working, this disaster ironically proved in favor. from Frontify: The company took over some 300 customers when the pandemic hit. It now has 5,000 customers in total.
For some background on that number and the startup’s growth, as of January 2020, around 2,500 organizations were already using the Frontify platform – the companies it publicly discloses include Facebook, Pepsi, Lufthansa, Sennheiser, and Vodafone.
Frontify’s platform today provides a repository for businesses to manage and distribute brand assets used both internally and by external partners. But what’s remarkable about it – and what sets it apart from a number of other companies providing digital asset management tools (others in the same space include Bynder and Canto) – is that it covers not only digital media files, but how they can be and are getting used to.
In other words, Frontify is not just a storage folder for fonts and logos, but focuses much of its business on a larger collaboration suite that tracks usage and status of projects where these assets appear.
In areas like digital advertising, for example, this allows companies to create templates that lock in certain design details so that they can remain consistent as a company seeks to create multiple versions of a work of art for a wider campaign, and most importantly, it is configured to allow this type of work in a distributed fashion, by design, which is one of the reasons it has gained a foothold in today’s market, where teams that could have been previously centralized now work as distributed as before working with external partners.
All of this can be used through the web or desktop app, and developers can create their own models and other use cases on its platform.
The big picture of online digital media is changing rapidly. NFTs may or may not end up being a speculative flash in the pan, the 1920s response to Tulipmania, but they have focused heavily on how the market wants and strives to “control” visual artifacts. Canva, meanwhile, is at the other end of the spectrum, a huge repository for designing and sharing works that will live on in the digital world. Frontify basically created a B2B platform that lives in the same field: it identified the value of the asset and the value of being able to collaborate with it in a way that fits the broader design goals of a business. organization.
And in keeping with the concept of design consistency, this is very much how Frontify saw itself from the start. As Roger Dudler, CEO and Founder of Frontify, described to me in January 2020: “We think design tools could change pretty quickly. [while] the single source of truth for all brand resources will remain, ”he said. “That’s why we’re filling this gap by integrating with as many existing tools as possible. He described the modeling capabilities the company created to extend beyond basic digital asset management as tools to “bring Canva-like functionality to brands with a much more targeted offering for them. complex business needs ”. (Frontify integrates with all standard software used in the design industry, including Figma, Sketch, and Adobe XD.)
“We were immediately enthusiastic about Frontifybrand management platform and its ability to capture the entire brand building process in one place, making it the single source of truth for employees and collaborators, ”said Elina Berrebi, founding partner of Revaia, in a press release. “They have demonstrated their ability to win over some of the world’s most trusted brands across all industries, while driving strong and efficient revenue growth. We also adhere to the passion and people of Frontify, and are delighted to help strengthen its global leadership.
The company is not disclosing its valuation, but we asked.