Sir Martin Sorrell launches $208M venture capital firm to target adtech

S4 Capital chairman Sir Martin Sorrell is launching a £110 million (A$208 million) venture capital fund with former WPP executive, Sanja Partalo, and Stanhope Capital CEO, Daniel Pinto.

The fund is aimed to help support companies providing solutions for, acceleration of programmatic advertising across Connected TV (CTV), gaming and digital audio ecosystems, data warehousing, ingestion and analysis for the purposes of identity resolution.

S4 Capital chair, Sir Martin Sorrell (pictured)

In addition to this, to help support the transformation of content development and underlying workflows, by leveraging cloud computing and artificial intelligence infrastructure, monetisation of metaverse opportunities, through development of software tools to facilitate/enable brand and creator participation, and emerging digital media capturing the attention of Generation Z.

Sorrell and Pinto are expected to put in up to US$15 million (A$20 million) combined of their own money and sit on the investment committee, with the former head of strategic development at WPP, Patalo, serving as managing partner. 

The fund will invest globally, but with an emphasis on the US, Europe and the Middle-East.

Partalo and the S4S team will benefit from the support of the S4 Capital network, with over 7,500 people operating from 33 countries, and from Stanhope’s established investment expertise and track record in both private and public markets. 

S4S co-founder and MP, Sanja Partalo, said: “We are entering ‘Web 3.0’ – the next stage of digital evolution. It is an incredibly fertile environment for start-ups which are focused on transforming the marketing and advertising sector through new technologies. Regulatory, demographic and technological catalysts – such as a stricter privacy and regulatory environment for the tech giants, the rise of Gen Z, the democratisation of AI infrastructure, and the dawn of the Metaverse – mean that this segment of the venture market benefits from significant tailwinds, presenting an exciting opportunity for investors.”

Sorrell commented: “S4S’s aim is to be a very engaged and creative equity owner. The fund will provide investee companies with more than capital – offering differentiated value through the advantage afforded by the S4 network and our specialist knowledge with geographical, client and talent inputs. We are in a strong position to help portfolio companies validate ideas, launch products, accelerate growth with clients and partners and help engineer strategic partnerships, investments and exits.”

Pinto, added: “Stanhope Capital has a strong track record in private equity and venture capital and our clients – both in Europe and the US – have benefited from our network and relationships which have enabled investment opportunities in some of the most exciting and high growth companies in the world. What we observe today is that venture capital itself is in the midst of profound structural change, as more money flows into private markets. Both investors and investee companies have identified the sweet spot of value generation as being highly specialised, value-led partnerships between founders and investment firms. S4S‘s investment strategy, team composition and strategic alignment with S4 deliver this and represent an exciting new breed of venture capital firm.”


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