NEW YORK, NY, Ceros today announced that it has raised $14 million in Series C funding led by Greenspring Associates.
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The financing will serve as the next building block in executing on Ceros' mission to empower marketers and designers everywhere to move beyond the static digital realm and create deeply engaging digital experiences. The round included participation from existing investors Grotech Ventures, CNF Investments, Sigma Prime Ventures, StarVest Partners, Greycroft and Silicon Valley Bank.
A cloud-based software platform featuring a collaborative, real-time digital canvas, on which designers create animated, interactive content, Ceros enables designers to craft bespoke digital experiences at scale and without code. Ceros is an end-to-end solution that offers full creative control, meaning stunning interactive content can be created at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional web development or agency support.
Ceros' continued evolution is driven by a core belief that digital content is due for a creative upgrade, with an influx of innovation and talent that was once the sole domain of elite agencies. While content is now widely considered the backbone of digital marketing, these new creative challenges are emerging:
Digitally native audiences are uncompromising in their standards, unwilling to engage with static long-form content and strongly influenced by a never-ending stream of short-burst social feeds.
In-house creative and design talent are often an afterthought, relegating content teams to focus almost exclusively on statistics, copy, and static visuals, and who market to audiences based on data rather than human connection.
Most digital brand content is built using content creation platforms that output static, templated content, resulting in a sea of homogenous viewer and user experiences.
As Ceros builds into 2019, it will reveal a deeper commitment to inspiring brands to challenge themselves and expand their experiential marketing strategy beyond in-person activations. In late March, Ceros will host a launch event called "Experience Matters", which will feature the introduction of the next wave of new Ceros products and services.
"Ceros is well known for empowering marketers to think creatively," says John Avirett, General Partner, Greenspring Associates, "but we have also come to know Ceros as a highly capital efficient business, which is a refreshing change in the burn-rate happy world of digital. We're confident that this investment will catalyze Ceros' continued growth while enabling their team to opportunistically pursue acquisitions that enhance the core product and further penetration of key markets. Greenspring is looking forward to partnering with Ceros through their next phase of growth."
Ceros is now utilized by 400 customers, including B2B and B2C giants like United Airlines, Red Bull, CBRE, McKinsey, and IBM; publishers like Mashable, CondÃ© Nast, NBC, and VICE; and sports teams like the Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, and Washington Wizards.
Since its last fundraise, Ceros has reached several major product, acquisition, partnership and integration milestones, including: the launch of Ceros/Inspire, a starting point to inspire content creation; the launch of Ceros/Originals, a reimagined digital publication led by Mark Healy, former editor-in-chief of Men's Journal and editor at GQ and Rolling Stone; the acquisition and integration of ChartBlocks to help clients build and publish responsive charts and creative data visualizations without coding; and new partnerships with Google Fonts and The Noun Project, and marketing integrations with HubSpot and Marketo.
"There's a lot of noise in the content marketing space, and a lot of it is comprised of repackaged and recycled ideas tethered to content practices that will be outdated in two years," says Ben Plomion, CMO, GumGum. "We work with Ceros because they share our core belief that every piece of content should embody a visceral connection to its human audience, and they help us envision a creative world without limits."
"For in-house teams mired in the daily trench warfare of digital marketing, creativity and design can feel uncomfortable and even disconnected to business outcomes," says Simon Berg, Chief Executive Officer, Ceros. "Yet any marketer worth their salt knows that buying decisions are made as much from heart as they are from intellect. This additional funding will allow us build on our core belief that emotion matters and digital experience matters. The new capital also enables further innovation around our core Ceros Studio platform, strategic acquisitions, and a continued nurturing of our product and services ecosystem."
Ceros is a cloud-based professional content creation platform that empowers marketers and designers to create rich interactive content without code or traditional web development. The Ceros studio is the only platform of its kind with the ability to produce creative content experiences at scale. Founded in 2013, Ceros has offices in New York and London and is used by many of the world's top brands. Learn more about Ceros at ceros.com and follow them online @cerosdotcom.
About Greenspring Associates:
Founded in 2000, Greenspring Associates invests in established and emerging venture capital fund managers, venture-backed companies across their full lifecycle, and secondary positions in venture capital funds and companies. Today, Greenspring manages approximately $8.7 billion in capital commitments across a variety of solutions and bespoke venture capital strategies.