October 27, 2017

Bailador Case Study: Stackla

This month we discuss Bailador’s investment in Stackla and how the social content marketing platform has developed over the two years since Bailador first met the team.

Stackla, a user-generated content platform, joined the Bailador portfolio two years ago as the Stackla team began to expand operations into the United States. Stackla Co-founders, Damien Mahoney and Peter Cassidy (seen right), founded the company in Sydney in 2012 whilst running a digital consultancy. The idea of Stackla was born after the two created a product that harnessed user-generated content (“UGC”) for one of their clients. It was quickly understood that a platform generating inexpensive and relevant content with high social engagement had a much broader application beyond their firm’s client base.

Stackla evolved into a content marketing platform that aggregates user generated content from dozens of data sources (for example: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Twitch and WordPress). It provides marketing teams with an intuitive interface to curate and design how this content is displayed across the marketing stack (website, email marketing campaigns, social ads, retargeting ads etc.). Stackla’s API-first approach enables integration into any marketing technology or channel. The most exciting product development since Bailador’s investment is the launch of Co-Pilot. Co-Pilot brings incredible value to customers through its ability to identify and recommend exactly which content should be shown to each customer, providing a personalisation capability that is leading edge in the market.

Bailador was first introduced to Stackla in 2015 through Bailador’s network. The Bailador team was immediately impressed with the product pitch and the two founders, Damien and Peter, quickly establishing a strong foundation for a good working relationship based on great communication and transparency.

Andrea Kowalski, a Principal at Bailador and a Board Director of Stackla, gives us an idea of how that working relationship has developed since Bailador’s first investment two years ago: “During the first 12 months, we made frequent trips to the US, attending strategy workshops, supporting the founders in building out a leadership team, and helping fill in some of the short-term gaps while key positions were being filled. Bailador continues to have a very good relationship with the founders and other C-level executives across the company, with both Paul Wilson and I sitting on the board. We continue to support the company across corporate development initiatives though are certainly less hands-on than we were in the first year. The Stackla team has proven itself to be incredibly hardworking, agile and determined.”

Peter Cassidy, the Founder and Chief Product Officer of Stackla, speaks about Bailador’s support: “Bailador has been really proactive and involved in their support of Stackla. They’ve provided access to analyst data and trade analysis in the wider industry, introduced us to potential employees and customers, and offered us insights and assistance through various stages of the business lifecycle".

There’s a common misconception in Australian start-ups that Australian VC funds are limited in their ability to help globally expand through their network. Bailador has introduced us to clients, groups and individuals from all around the globe and are exceptional at what they do.”

Andrea adds, “The marketing tech sector is an active and growing industry and Stackla’s product, team and unique value proposition really stand out. Brands increasingly provide personalised content to their consumers and this quickly becomes very costly and time-consuming at scale. Not only does Stackla solve this issue (the need for vast amounts of relevant and targeted content) it goes one step further to provide the most authentic content a brand can leverage, user-generated content. The impact Stackla is having on improving marketing efficiency is evidenced by the growing list of successful global brands coming on board, with companies such as Air France, The Priceline Group, Pernod Ricard, Heineken, BMW, MIT University and Stanford University joining Stackla’s customer portfolio in the last twelve months.”

When asked ‘what’s next’, Peter responded, “We have benefited greatly from our early prioritisation of building an exceptional product: leading edge, scalable, robust and integration-friendly. The next year is about doubling down on sales and marketing efforts. We have a broad suite of use cases that continues to broaden as we work closely with our enterprise customer base, and we are building valuable partnerships with digital experience managers and content management platforms. These efforts will help cement Stackla’s positioning in the market as the leading UGC platform that helps brands automate content personalisation at scale.”

Through predictive intelligence, machine learning and automation from the analysis of big data, Stackla delivers a compelling, unique and personalised experience to both brands and consumers. The company continues to grow steadily and Bailador are eager to continue supporting such a compelling product and driven team.