29 March 2022

Connected Capital leads CHILI publish’s latest round of funding, closing at €10 million

CHILI publish, the Creative Automation software market leader, has raised €10 million in a new round of funding led by Connected Capital with participation from existing investors Group MC, Pamica and PMV. This fresh round of funding will be used to accelerate solution and community development, attract new talent and boost the company’s go-to-market and sales operations in the United States and Europe.

“Consumers increasingly look for compelling visual content across touchpoints, as they navigate through online, social, and on-site marketplaces. Brands and agencies struggle to reach the right people with the right content on the right channel because all too often their design adaptation process takes time, is error-prone and not data-driven,” said Kevin Goeminne, CEO at CHILI publish. “Our product lets brands and agencies simplify and automate on-brand graphic production at scale, saving them time and money in the end-to-end production of that content for both online and offline channels.”

Creative Tech – future-proofing visuals designed by professionals for professionals

Nowadays, graphic design tools are more accessible than ever, yet visual marketing can still be a drain on budgets and resources. According to Gartner, an estimated 11% of a company’s budget is dedicated to marketing, which may include software, ad campaigns, agencies, premium social media accounts, data analysis and talent. Furthermore, maintaining a consistent visual identity across platforms can be a challenge when brand guides are stored separately from the actual design software.

The biggest cost, however, may be time. According to their 2021 In-House Creative Industry Report, Cella found that the top industry challenge is not having enough time for creativity. Many designers spend a significant amount of time on the “izations” of the review and approval process, such as adaptation and customization, in addition to incorporating edits and ensuring quality and consistency.

Goeminne and co-founder Bram Verniest saw an opportunity to streamline these processes via Creative Automation, which they define as “The use of technology to scale content production and make it more efficient, with the particular goal of quickly delivering large numbers of marketing and advertising assets.” Built in 2010, CHILI publisher leverages technology to scale design adaptation using Smart Templates efficiently and affordably. Smart Templates in CHILI publisher allow graphic professionals, brands, and agencies to:

 

  • connect original creative designs with built-in channel requirements
  • integrate consumer or product data intelligence
  • produce on-brand content quickly
  • deliver ready-to-use graphics for high-volume, data-driven, multichannel campaigns

Pre-approved templates reduce administrative overhead, approval cycles, and production bottlenecks. This frees up creative teams to focus on higher-value creative work, while allowing agencies to leverage the automation features into new revenue and business models, as confirmed by their client Gary Howard, CDO at Precision: “We wanted a solution that could provide a complete user journey for our customers today and in the future. But finding a solution that could deliver the right combination of user experience and data-driven performance was a challenge until we found CHILI publisher. It is such a communication streamliner that it has become an online marketing hub where our clients store all their marketing collateral.”

Fortune 500 brands such as Carrefour, Coca-Cola, and Mars, as well as agencies in a variety of industries such as retail, FMCG, real estate, automotive, and more depend on CHILI publisher to streamline automated personalization at scale. The platform is also used by MarTech vendors like Sitecore, 4AllPortal, Akeneo, Horizontal, Pimcore, and others to create new revenue streams and offer new value-adding connectors between content platforms.

Why Connected Capital invested

At Connected Capital, we get excited about no-code technologies that make work more efficient. CHILI publish does just that, by streamlining the marketing & design process for blue-chip clients with their state-of-the-art product.

“Creative tech is the rapidly evolving space to watch because brands and agencies are striving to become more productive, adaptive, and scalable,” said Geert van Engelen, Managing Partner at Connected Capital, who will join CHILI publish’s board of directors. “CHILI publish delivers just that by empowering them with a powerful and tailored platform. It gives brands the control and the speed they need to rapidly react consumer demand trends, both in-store and online. CHILI publish’ relationships with MarTech integration partners and creative service providers, their attention to data security with recent ISO 27001:2017 certification, and a result-focused, solution-driven team makes us excited to contribute to their accelerated expansion.”

By automating the last mile of the design process, not only do designers have more energy to do creative work, but the design process becomes more efficient for everyone involved. CHILI publish makes marketing significantly easier for everyone involved, and we look forward to supporting Goeminne and Verniest in bringing their proposition to the next level.

About CHILI publish

CHILI publish was founded in 2010 with a single vision: make graphic versioning productive, adaptable and scalable. Today, hundreds of customers around the globe use their product CHILI publisher to produce digital and print content at scale and create better customer experiences. With a team of over 75 people, a global ecosystem of integration partners, and offices in Aalst, Belgium, and Chicago, USA, CHILI publish is succeeding in becoming a trusted innovation partner in building the future of creative technology for brands and agencies worldwide. For more information, please visit www.chili-publish.com