58. Picnic

Placing user experience at the forefront, this startup aims to make web advertising as engaging, interactive, and successful as social media ads...

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  • Julia Watts

Founder: Matthew Goldhill
Founded: 2018
Website: www.picnic-media.com

Have you ever noticed that advertising on social media is miles ahead of advertising on the open web? Social media ads are engaging – they’re interactive, they slot neatly into users’ feeds, and they incorporate user-generated content.

Meanwhile, web page ads are often just annoying, interrupting your browsing by popping up where they’re not expected and slowing down page load speeds.

With his startup, Picnic, entrepreneur Matthew Goldhill is looking to close this gap. Picnic provides engaging, social media-inspired ad formats – think ‘stories’, carousels, and swipeable content – to companies that are advertising across the web. Picnic ads can also be customised with features like emoji reactions and shoppable hotspots to boost their interactivity.

Picnic provides engaging, social media-inspired ad formats – think ‘stories’, carousels, and swipeable content – to companies that are advertising across the web

Uniquely, Picnic’s formats have been built entirely for Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). For those not in the know, this is Google’s project to improve mobile web browsing, with pages that load six times faster and aren’t plagued by formatting glitches. In building ad formats for AMP only, Picnic prioritises user experience above all else (something of a novel approach in certain areas of advertising!).

Since its launch, Picnic has delivered over 400 advertising campaigns to brands including ITV, Spotify, Amex, Microsoft, and HM Government. As is often the case with our Startups 100 businesses, the results speak for themselves. Total engagement rates are more than three times higher than Instagram’s benchmarks, with some brands making back up to 18 times their investment and seeing brand awareness increase by up to 129%.

Since its launch, Picnic has delivered over 400 advertising campaigns to brands including ITV, Spotify, Amex, Microsoft, and HM Government

Meanwhile, Picnic has helped publishers to earn more from the ads on their AMP pages, which are historically difficult to monetise.

Having achieved all this while growing rapidly and bootstrapping, it’s impossible to doubt Picnic’s tenacity. We’re sure we’ll see lots more success from this exciting adtech business.

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