LadBible rival KOMI Group secures 'significant investment' from BGF – Business Live
The group works with the likes of TikTok, Disney, DPD and AO
A social media group that has been described as a "young pretender" to the likes of LadBible has secured a "significant investment" from BGF.
Manchester-based KOMI Group was founded in 2016 by Andrew Trotman, Ryan Williams and Matt Thomas after first connecting through direct messages on Twitter.
The company started with growing 15 sport-related Twitter pages, which were mainly parody based, before launching its first global brand called It’s Gone Viral on Facebook towards the back end of 2016.
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It rebranded to KOMI Group in 2020 and restructured to form dedicated social media (KOMI Media), marketing (KOMI Social) and licensing (ARK) teams.
Speaking to BusinessLive in November 2021, Mr Trotman said the group was on course to double its headcount and revenue in 2022.
The size of the deal and how much of a stake in the group BGF has taken has not been disclosed.
Mr Trotman, who serves as the group's chief executive, will remain with KOMI alongside managing director Sam Lenehan while Mr Williams and Mr Thomas will be stepping away.
Mr Trotman said: "The business has experienced huge progress and considerable growth over the past few years, and we believe we have a significant opportunity to scale by working with more brands and individuals who could benefit from our creativity and reach.
"To do that, it’s crucial that we continue to invest in our people and emerging platforms, so we retain the innovative approach and commercial results KOMI is known for.
"Whilst this is fantastic news, it is also sad to say farewell to my fellow co-founders, Ryan and Matt. We understand their decision to step away and thank them for their hard work and commitment to KOMI's growth over the last seven years.
"We would not be where we are today if not for them, and I am excited to see where their future endeavours take them."
Mr Lenehan added: "As a business, we pride ourselves on serving our people and our clients. It was super important for us to partner with a supportive investor that had a strong track record, that shared our values and that believed in the importance of the growing creator economy.
"Culture and personality are also key – we wanted to find a partner we could trust, that could add value to what we’re already doing and that we’d enjoy sharing our growth journey with. BGF ticked every box and we’re looking forward to a successful partnership."
Rhys Davenport, who led the deal for BGF with investor Courtney Walker, said: "KOMI is an exciting, creative and high growth business, that operates in a market which has huge potential both in the UK and internationally.
"KOMI’s existing platform is highly scalable, both organically and through M&A, with a disruptive offering and approach to market.
"With Andrew and Sam at the helm, we’re backing an ambitious and capable management team to expand a business already delivering world-class creative for brands, people and publishers.
"We’re excited to add value beyond the deal through BGF’s track record in scaling digital media, creator economy businesses, such as London and LA-based influencer brand agency, Genflow."
KOMI was advised by Kaine Smith at Rickitt Mitchell. Mr Smith added: "KOMI is a fantastic business, led by an exceptional management team who have devised a highly differentiated strategic approach in a rapidly evolving sector.
"With the benefit of BGF’s investment and support, KOMI is now ideally placed to accelerate its already impressive growth trajectory. It has been a pleasure to support Andrew and Sam on the transaction."
Other advisers to the deal:
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