MDC Partners announced the launch of MDC Ventures, a collaborative venture capital fund allowing the agency network to invest in early-stage digital media and marketing technology companies.
The newly-formed entity expands MDC Partners’ existing investments and enhances the sharing of knowledge gleaned from such investments across the agency network. MDC Ventures grew out of KBS Ventures and to a large degree applies KBS Ventures’ approach across MDC agencies.
“MDC Ventures will accelerate and expand on the proven model we have been incubating as KBS Ventures for years, fueling the ambitions of our entire agency network with access to entrepreneurial companies and solutions, and sharpening our clients’ competitive advantages in the market,” MDC Partners chairman and CEO Scott Kauffman said in a statement. “We have long recognized that startups and venture capitalists see the market differently, and this move allows more of our agency partners and clients to benefit from exposure to the digital, technology and media disruptors that are actively shaping the future of our industry.”
An executive team at MDC Partners will oversee MDC Ventures, with partner Jessica Peltz-Zatulove, formerly partner at KBS Ventures, leading day-to-day operations. KBS Ventures will remain part of the advisory process. The leadership team is composed of a dozen representatives from each of a dozen agencies across the network, including CP+B, 72andSunny, Anomaly, Allison+Partners, Colle+McVoy and Doner, in addition to KBS.
“After seeing huge interest in agency partners, it made sense to formally elevate KBS into MDC partners,” Peltz-Zatulove told Adweek.
She explained that KBS Ventures has led to valuable innovation for MDC Partners, pointing to how insights and intelligence gained from investment in Msg.ai in part led to the development of AI agency Born.
“We’re constantly looking for startups that are solving problems we don’t even know we have yet,” Peltz-Zatulove said.
Kaufman explained that MDC Ventures is “not so much about financial return” as it is “about the insights to agencies and from agencies to clients.”
“It represents a strong opportunity for founders to connect with thought leaders, gives agencies opportunities to have a front seat at emerging innovation opportunities,” he added.