Today I am thrilled to provide a review of our 2018 achievements in the areas of revenue and client growth, investment, partner growth, awards, and key hires. Here are some of the highlights from this strong year for our company.
New Corporate Brand to Reflect Our Mission
One of the most important steps we took as a company this year was to adopt a trading name that better communicates our mission and vision for the partnership industry. We changed our name in July from Performance Horizon to Partnerize to tell the world that we are “all-in” on the tremendous business potential of the partnerships industry, and to make it clear that our solution partnerizes leading brands as a means of driving extraordinary revenue growth.
While Partnerize did not go out for a formal funding round in 2018, we are very proud to have raised an additional $9M in investment, led by GP Bullhound.
The proceeds will be used for additional sales and marketing expansion and to support further growth and development of a global partner ecosystem centered on the company’s SaaS partner management platform. Partnerize joins existing GP Bullhound portfolio companies, including Slack, Spotify, Unity, and Tradeshift, on their list of fast-growing, global businesses. That’s great company to be in. This investment is a strong affirmation of the opportunity ahead as so many brands today are choosing Partnerize for their global partner management.
To create an even stronger company that better meets the needs of clients and partners alike, Partnerize made a number of key hires in 2018.
Mike Lemberg joined Partnerize as our new CFO. In this role, he oversees the finance, legal and HR functions and is responsible for the financial strategy of the company.
Mike brings a broad range of strengths and expertise to the company as it works to further accelerate growth in North America and around the world. His extensive experience in strategic planning, financial planning and analysis, raising capital, and scaling operations helps the company deliver industry-leading growth as it redefines and expands the role that partnerships will play in the go-to-market strategies of the world’s great brands. Mike is based in the company’s San Francisco office.
A long-time technology industry veteran, Lemberg joined Partnerize after four years at ServiceSource International, the global leader in outsourced inside sales, customer success, recurring revenue growth and retention solutions for B2B companies. In that role, he led the global financial planning and analysis team for the $240M, 3,000-person company, with offices located around the globe. Before ServiceSource, Mike’s experience included being the CFO of EcoSmart Technologies, the world’s leading natural pesticide company, and the VP Corporate Development and Treasurer at Arbinet, where he helped lead the Company’s IPO. He has held numerous other CFO and senior finance positions at growth stage and technology companies.
Anshu Khurana joined Partnerize as SVP – Partnerships. Khurana is responsible for growing relationships with the broad range of 350,000+ channel, loyalty, influencer, referral, publisher, and brand-to-brand partners that are connected to the Partnerize platform. Anshu Khurana brings more than 15 years of business development and partner management experience to Partnerize, with significant expertise in cultivating highly productive partner relationships.
Prior to joining Partnerize, she served as SVP, Analytics Solutions for Grapeshot, now an Oracle company. At Grapeshot, she led the business unit responsible for incubating and building new partnerships for the company’s Contextual Intelligence Platform. Previously, Khurana spent 4 years at Facebook where she focused on building and growing global strategic partnerships for Facebook Advertising and Messenger platforms, driving over $1 billion in revenue on a global basis.
Khurana also served in a variety of marketing and product marketing roles at Microsoft and began her career with roles at leading advertising agencies including McCann.
Matt Simmonds joined Partnerize as VP – Product and Engineering. Matt leads product strategy, product management and execution for the Partnerize platform. Building on the company’s industry-leading Partnerize Partner Management Platform (PMP), he spearheads the evolution of existing capabilities as well as grows the company’s groundbreaking AI and machine-learning-based offerings.
Matt joined us with a wealth of product development leadership experience. Prior to Partnerize, he was Vice President of Product Management, Oracle Marketing Cloud, focusing on real-time optimization and personalization. In that role, he led product strategy, product management and user experience teams to deliver a more powerful offering that reflected the needs of leading brands. Prior to Oracle, Simmonds led numerous product development teams for leading companies including WPP, Yahoo!, BBC and AOL.
Key Industry Award
To us, the best “award” we can win is the extraordinary growth of our clients. In 2018, we were also gratified to win the Performance Marketing Technology of the Year award at the International Performance Marketing Awards. Here’s a capsule quote form the award:
Committed to fraud detection, business growth and client loyalty, Partnerize has proved to be the best-in-breed, driving customer loyalty of greater than 98% thanks to what the judges hailed as “one of the best technologies we’ve ever seen.” Following its rebrand, Partnerize transformed the platform to ensure that clients can capitalise on all of the key business opportunities, leveraging incredible initiatives, particularly in payment and artificial intelligence. It’s the first piece of technology in the performance marketing industry to use AI predictions, and its suite of fraud detection tools, AI-powered forecasting and early warning systems that improve revenue stability prove the technology is fundamental.
From our founding, we have always been recognized as a tech leader in the partnerships space, but in 2018 we took huge steps forward in ensuring that our product stays way out in front.
- To reflect the emergence of new segments within partnership beyond the core affiliate channel, we made a variety of product changes that ensured that clients can partner with virtually any type of company using any measurable performance model(s) and metric(s). A key part of these efforts is ultra-advanced commissioning product set, the most robust and customizable commissions experience in the space.
- Because partnership is now a massive revenue driver for most companies, and increasingly looked to for driving stronger growth, we introduced AI-powered forecasting and early warning systems that improve revenue stability and the quality and depth of the financial data available and ensure optimal optimization.
- To address the growing emergence of partner marketing fraud in some markets, we introduced a full suite of fraud detection and prevention offerings, including in-depth key metric reporting, AI-powered “smart alerts” for hidden changes in data that may indicate fraud, and third-party integrations with leading fraud solutions that marketers already use in other channels.
- To enable more brands to fully integrate their partner marketing efforts into the larger marketing footprint and data set, we took a major leap forward with our open platform integration that has added 25 popular tech, data visualization, attribution and ecommerce platforms to our list of bespoke partnerships.
- To address the growth in the number of companies wishing to include partnership in their attribution analytics, we have partnered with leaders in the space and make all of the partner data available to any attribution tool via state-of-the-art APIs.
- To ensure that clients can fully capitalize on the current 25-40% of total partner sales coming through the mobile channel, we have made significant advancements in our mobile offerings and integrations with best of breed partners.
The most important way we measure our success is in the success of our clients. We now proudly work with more than 300 of the world’s largest brands, including 27 of Fortune Magazine’s Top 100 Global Brands.
Throughout the year, we made several announcements of greater than 100% YOY growth in some of our most important trading regions, including the US, Germany, Australia and the Netherlands.
Our growth was strongest in 5 key sectors:
- Retail: We’ve continued to grow strongly in the retail sector across EMEA, and have acquired a HOST of massive retailer assignments in the US and Asia
- Travel: Partnerize truly dominates in the travel sector, and we have continued to win clients from networks and software solutions alike in this key sector.
- Finance: Here we are particularly strong with “new model” financial services companies, as well as traditional financial institutions that have launched disruptive new financial products
- Subscriptions: Here we have moved from strength to strength, and are proud to work with three of the top four music subscription businesses global.
- DTC: Direct to Consumer Brands are really growing in popularity, and we work with many of the largest and most innovative.
One major appeal of the Partnerize platform for so many brands in these key categories is our superior financial capabilities. Our ability to make payments in 214 countries and territories, and in 56 currencies, is a standout feature of our toolset.
As many readers know, our company was founded and is headquartered in the UK. But from the beginning we have always taken a global perspective and are proud now to generate the largest share of total revenue from the US. Further, our turnover in Asia is growing even faster than our US business, thanks to major client engagements in China, Japan, Australia and now Southeast Asia.
Our global orientation is also reflected in our category-leading payment solutions. We now pay partners in 214 countries and territories worldwide, in 56 currencies.
At Partnerize, we view evangelism for partnerships of all forms as a cornerstone of our mission. During 2018, we unleashed a massive press effort which drove a remarkable 217 articles in more than 30 trade journals and generalist publications. The common denominator? Advice and ideas to further the role that partnerships play for the world’s great brands.
Visit our press page for a complete listing our our 2018 press coverage.
In addition, Partnerize debuted a first-of-its kind Partnership Learning Center, with three dozen eGuides, studies, and best practices docs for free download.
Explore all this great content here.
It’s been a remarkable year, and we extend our heartfelt thanks to the 350,000+ client, agencies, and partners that make it all possible.
Happy New Year, everyone! Here’s to an even better 2019!