Several Miss the Boat on Olapic Acquisition
People trust people far more than they do brands, which is the main reason user-generated content (UGC) greatly influences purchasing decisions. Olapic is a leader (if not "the" leader) in helping brands like Steve Madden, Timberland, Lancome and about 400 others collect, curate, use and analyze customers' images and videos. Olapic has hustled through funding rounds and even acquisitions of its own, but now we're learning who has picked up the UGC darling.
Olapic has been acquired for $130 million by Massachusetts-based Monotype (a publicly traded company). The self-proclaimed "company behind type" is definitely not the first enterprise the industry would have selected as a candidate to purchase Olapic - any of the popular e-commerce platforms (e.g., Demandware/Salesforce, Magento, NetSuite), content management systems (e.g., Sitecore, Episerver) or even marketing automation solutions (e.g., Hubspot, Act-On, Listrak) would have made a lot more sense initially - but it's definitely interesting.
This is a big step into the marketing realm for Monotype, which wants to use the investment to help brands, "express their story and engage with customers in a richer, more impactful way" according to Monotype President and CEO Scott Landers.
“Our value has always been predicated on type, technology and expertise, and Olapic strengthens us on all three fronts," said Landers. "Whether an ‘asset’ is type, branded emoji or chat, and now user-generated content, they all serve a similar purpose, which is to elevate a brand’s identity both online and offline. We also offer technology and expertise that maximizes the use and value of all of these assets to address customers’ most critical brand needs – whether defining brands or engaging with consumers in new, impactful ways. We believe that business success is ultimately the result of our people – and the combination of our organizations is truly powerful in terms of the value we can deliver.”
All that said, this acquisition is still surprising as Olapic would have fit nicely into solutions that have email, ordering, social or content management (in a more traditional sense) capabilities. Where there will be mutual benefits for these companies will likely be in analyzing visual content for sentiment and other brand value. The question becomes what will they do with it once they have it?