Q1 2020

20 US BUSINESS NEWS / Q1 2020 , SmartBug Media ® , a leading Intelligent Inbound ® marketing agency that assists businesses in gener- ating leads, increasing awareness, and building brand loyalty through inbound marketing, digital strategy, design, marketing automation, and public relations, has recently an- nounced it has received a growth equity investment from American Discovery Capital (ADC), a private equity firm focused on investing in leading family-owned and middle market companies in high-growth sectors. The deal validates Smart- Bug Media’s remote business model, leading reputation, and strong culture and team capabil- ities, and positions the company to accelerate its growth and to capitalize on numerous expand- ed opportunities in the inbound marketing services market. ADC partners with innovative business owners and entrepre- neurs who have built success- ful, established businesses with strong fundamentals that are well-positioned for future growth. Among middle market companies, where there is a growing reliance on marketing and sales automation, the ADC relationship enables SmartBug ® to strengthen its already leading market position. The partnership also enables SmartBug to further SmartBug Media ® Receives Growth Investment from American Discovery Capital Investment reinforces HubSpot’s highest-rated agency partner’s prominence as market leader and sets stage for accelerated growth. capitalize on a market need for companies that offer strong sales, marketing, and technical expe- rience to take advantage of the explosion in cloud-based sales and marketing technologies. “SmartBug is a leader in the digital agency space and a global leader in the HubSpot partner community,” said Mike Denbeau, partner at ADC. “The company has a wide range of unique and impressive attributes that made it an attractive investment for us. We are excited to partner with them and accelerate the growth of the SmartBug brand.” “ADC has an incredibly experi- enced and forward-looking team that shares our values and vision for SmartBug’s growth,” added Ryan Malone, founder and CEO of SmartBug Media. “We are be- yond excited to partner with ADC as we continue our plan to be the dominant market player and to provide our customers with a level of talent and performance not seen in this market.” Since its founding in 2008, SmartBug has been a 100 percent remote company—a cutting-edge model that has only recently become more widely adopted due to market success stories. “Our goal was to provide employees with challenging careers along with the flexibility to spend more quality time and make lifelong memories with their families,” said Malone. “We also had a hypothesis that a remote environment could help us hire better people faster, with our customers deriving great benefits from it. These philosophies have enabled us to attract the best talent in the market and build a high-retention hiring culture, proving our remote model suc- cessful, as we’ve scaled to 85 employees across 28 states to service more than 100 clients.” With a long history of mar- ket-leading innovation, Smart- Bug has consistently shown its willingness to break the mold in order to find better solutions to serve the marketing community and enhance the client expe- rience. For example, whereas most agencies rely heavily on interns and outsourcing, SmartBug has chosen to provide veteran marketers and strong in-house talent. Many agencies limit access to the strategists who are key to their success, but SmartBug doubles down on the customer experience, guarantee- ing direct access to strategists and encouraging them to be an extension of the client’s team. And whereas many agencies have unpredictable delivery systems, SmartBug’s relentless focus on process development and professional development results in high customer satisfac- tion and award-winning results for its clients. “We eliminated the things custom- ers dislike about agencies so we could produce great work,” said Malone. “We focus relentlessly on process, constantly tweaking and refining our workflow systems to ensure the highest quality outcomes. We know if we build processes that will work for com- panies five times our size, they will work flawlessly today.” SmartBug also laid a strong business foundation early on by partnering with marketing leaders such as HubSpot, knowing that the best technology combined with the best people would be unstoppable. The results of this strategy have been unmatched in the industry, as SmartBug is the highest-rated HubSpot Solutions Partner in the world, boasting 335 five-star reviews to date ac- cording to the HubSpot Solutions Directory. Earlier this month, SmartBug was named a HubSpot Elite partner, one of only six companies to earn this distinction worldwide. It was also named the 2018 HubSpot Partner of the Year and was tapped to provide its insight, ideas, and success- es to help steer the future of