13. WPP

Europe’s 25 Corporate Startup Stars winner makes clearly targeted investments for mutual benefit

WPP, the world’s largest communications services group, engages heavily with start-ups as part of its strategy to build capability in data, content, and technology.

The company has made strategic investments in companies like VICE, Percolate, and Refinery29, and in 2015 alone, WPP made 52 acquisitions totalling nearly £650m.

Its investments have proven to be successful for both parties involved, in some instances even resulting in proprietary platforms and technologies – e.g., the Playa influencer marketing programme created in collaboration with Fullscreen, a WPP investment. Events like WPP Stream and platforms like GroupM’s DigiTech database further streamline the process of meeting, evaluating, and working with new companies at scale.

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Image courtesy of SVC2UK CEO Summit 2015.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 644104.

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