What made us say yes: Our investment in unea at a glance
Over the past 20 years, we have observed a recurring trend of markets being disrupted by digital technology increasing efficiency, transparency and access for market participants. We believe the team at unea has identified a vertical ripe for disruption. Large parts of the advertising market already feature a large degree of automation (targeting, analytics, real-time bidding, etc.) and standardization (advertising formats, inventory management), however, in the area of trade marketing classic tools such as Excel and PowerPoint and PDF files predominate.
Fundamentally trade marketing can be summarized as retailers and brands cooperating in selling products to end customers at the point of sale. Brands grant retailers advertising allowances for the placement of products in prominent positions and for the implementation of special promotions. According to a PwC study from 2008, "trade marketing", i.e. the cooperation between brands and retailers in the direct sales business described above, plays a major role in profitability for both sides: Brands spend considerable amounts on direct sales promotion, which in terms of volume can be ranked directly after core advertising expenditures. Efficient management of these funds has a direct impact on the margin achieved. For retailers, the advertising allowances mean almost direct margin, as revenue can be generated without the use of merchandise and high personnel costs.
Based on the experience of the founding team, from various positions in retail, the need for automation and standardization in the trade marketing space was identified. Following up on this insight, the team developed unea a SaaS platform for capturing, managing and marketing advertising space in brick-and-mortar retail and on eCommerce platforms. unea is a system on which brands and retailers can transparently plan campaigns and manage media inventory. Enabling operations to run more efficiently and scale seamlessly. Importantly the digitization of trade spend using unea also enables both retailers and brands to measure and collect data at scale. This allows them to perform analytics and gain a comprehensive overview of their operations. In the future, the team envisions their solutions leading to the creation of a market network for all stakeholders of the trade spend process.
According to a Doubleclick study from 2020, the trade marketing market is worth approximately 465 billion € rivaling the 529 billion € "classic" advertising market, we believe unea is positioned well to disrupt the industry starting with the 22 billion € German market and we look forward to seeing the impact unea will have there in the coming years.