Private equity firm Apollo Global Management will take Rackspace private in the all-cash deal.
Investment accelerates work with Fortune 500 companies seeking to manage, communicate with, and understand their mobile audience
NEW YORK--Carnival Labs, the leading mobile brand accelerator, today announced its $2.4 million Angel financing round co-led by Lerer Ventures and Gary Vaynerchuk with participation by additional investors: Flybridge Capital Partners, Bowery Capital, Google Ventures, David Tisch (BoxGroup), Jos White and Michael Lazerow. With this investment, Carnival Labs will grow its work empowering brands with the tools to succeed on mobile.
“Today, brands need to grow their audiences and run campaigns on mobile just as they have across social networks in recent years. This takes expertise in mobile, smart use of technology and a long-term strategic vision,” said Guy Horrocks, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Carnival Labs. “At Carnival Labs, we provide a unified mobile marketing platform so that any brand can grow their mobile audience and drive user actions across applications. With today’s investment, we’ve gained some of the most experienced brand, agency and technology partners as well as the capital needed to expand our work with the Fortune 500 and beyond.”
Carnival Labs’ product suite enables brands to create and publish content and campaigns across their mobile audience. As brands invest in launching mobile applications, the Carnival Labs platform increases the impact of those efforts with a particular focus on unifying brands’ individual apps and creating targeted marketing campaigns that drive user actions.
“Carnival Labs has unmatched experience developing not only impactful mobile applications for brands but also the strategies required to drive value from those applications on an ongoing basis. Too often brands are focused on simply having a mobile app and don’t think strategically about their ongoing users after an app is live,” said Eric Hippeau, Managing Director, Lerer Ventures. “We saw this trend happen across social networks over the last few years and the companies that provided the expertise and the tools to drive greater ROI from social efforts rose to the top of the field. We are excited to see the same trend taking hold in mobile and think Carnival Labs is best-positioned to meet this demand.”
"I haven't been this excited about an investment in a long time, this reminds me of the days of Wildfire and Buddy Media when you just knew these platforms would have a huge impact on the future,” said Gary Vaynerchuck. “I am beyond thrilled to be involved and support it. This is my biggest investment to date, so as they say you put your money where your mouth is, I believe in this that much "
In the coming year, Carnival Labs will use this investment to rapidly scale its sales, account management, and engineering teams in New York City and New Zealand. This growth will allow the company to serve more Fortune 500 brands. With its deep background in building over 120 custom apps, Carnival Labs will continue to make it simple for brand marketers to manage and communicate with their users, as well as publish content and campaigns to their mobile audiences.
About Carnival Labs
Carnival Labs is the leading mobile brand accelerator.
With its mobile intelligence and marketing platform, Carnival Labs makes it effortless for Fortune 500 companies to manage and grow their audience relationships, through mobile content and communication tools. As brands seek innovative technology to deliver more successful results on mobile, Carnival Labs has worked with over 100 companies including OREO, Coca-Cola, Time Warner and DreamWorks Animation.
Founded in 2008 by Guy Horrocks and Cody Bunea, Carnival Labs is based in New York City and New Zealand. Learn more at carnivallabs.com and follow us on Twitter @CarnivalLabs
About Lerer Ventures
Lerer Ventures is NYC's most active seed stage venture capital fund investing in talented founders at the earliest stages of a startup's life. Lerer Ventures seeks out entrepreneurs with product vision, consumer insight, focused execution, and unwavering ambition. Its partners include Ken Lerer, Ben Lerer, Eric Hippeau, and Jordan Cooper.
About Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk is first and foremost a storytelling entrepreneur. He is also a New York Times bestselling author and his digital consulting agency, VaynerMedia, works with Fortune 500 companies to develop digital and social media strategy and content. Business Week selected him one of the top twenty people every entrepreneur should follow and CNN voted him one of the top twenty-five tech investors on Twitter. He lives in New York City where he avidly roots for the New York Jets.
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