Kyu Collective


What: The kyu Collective has announced that it has acquired a majority stake in six-year-old independent digital marketing services company Kepler Group.
Why it matters: Kyu will inherit the Kepler Intelligence Platform, a tool that automates the media buying process from ad creation to targeting.

The kyu Collective, a strategic unit of Hakuhodo DY Holdings, has acquired a majority stake in Kepler Group, a New York-based company focused on offering digital, programmatic, and CRM solutions. The investment in Kepler is the latest in a string of acquisitions by kyu including Digital Kitchen and Sid Lee. Kepler said it has been courted by a few traditional holding companies since it spun out of MediaMath six years ago; however, it was impressed by kyu’s focus on using creativity for social and cause-driven marketing projects, said Kepler CEO Rick Greenberg.

“Kyu has powerful companies in proposition development, product design, behavioral economics and creative,” Greenberg said. “We complete that mix by activating those capabilities in the marketplace through media and CRM.” With the acquisition, kyu will have access to the Kepler Intelligence Platform, a proprietary technology that automates the process of creation and optimization of programmatic targeting strategies.

“Kepler continues to be one of the fastest growing digital marketing services companies because the company exemplifies the future of scientific marketing,” stated Michael Birkin, CEO of kyu. “They are a great addition to The kyu Collective of member companies who represent the future in their domain: one of a kind, disruptive, and forward-thinking.”

Kepler’s integrated digital offering manages cross-channel customer marketing and nearly US $300 million in media spend. Clients include American Express, Bed Bath & Beyond, J. Crew, Fidelity, and Sling Latino. The financial terms of the agreement have not yet been disclosed.

[Featured image: Rick Greenberg and Michael Birkin]

What: Online publisher Mic raised US$21 million in Series C funding, with the main goal of expanding its video output.
Why it matters: According to Mic, 75% of its daily views come from video content, which allows the site to reach 66 million unique readers and viewers each month.

Focused on generating content for the millennial market, Mic has announced the raise of US$21 million in Series C funding to expand its video offering. Lead by Lightspeed Venture Partners, the investment is also coming from big media companies, including group You and Mr. Jones, Time Warner Investments, and investment group Kyu Collective.

According to an official statement of the New-York-headquartered company, the funding will help increase its video output such as live streaming, new channel brands, and subscription video-on-demand.

After announcing the launch of nine new content brands, it makes sense that the company founded in 2011 was looking for additional funding. The new sites include personal finance channel Payoff, politics channel Navigating Trump’s America, and feminist channel Slay.

With offices all around the world, in cities including LA, San Francisco, Berlin, Toronto, and Kiev, Mic has raised a total of US$52 million to date.