Welcome to our website! We use cookies to enhance your experience. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

Media for Growth Investments Around the World - Success & Failures

Media for Growth funds are proliferating at an increasing rate. Ten years ago, there were fewer than a handful. Today, there are more than 30 specialised funds. More than 380 startups completed a media for growth deal.

Media for Growth Investments Around the Globe

What do we know about the startups that have successfully raised media for growth investments?

  • The top most popular industries are E-commerce, Digital Health, FinTech, Food and Beverage
  • 31% operate on a B2B or a B2B2C business model
  • 65% of companies are active; 31% exited (IPO / M&A)
  • The average time for media for growth-backed startups to exit is 5 years and 6 months - 32 months (2 years and 8 months) faster than the traditional venture-backed startups
  • Media for Growth backed startups raise on average 3x more funding

Success & Failures in the Media for Growth Industry

As a baseline, we compare the successes and failures of media for growth and venture-capital-backed startups with those of venture-capital-backed only startups. The hypothesis is that media for growth and venture capital-supported startups have greater success rates, a shorter path to liquidity and on average raised more capital.

We consider these key factors as relevant for evaluating startup performance:

  1. What percentage of the startups are no longer operating?
  2. What percentage of the startups have exited?
  3. What is the total average funding raised?

Exits & Startup Failure

5% of media for growth-backed companies founded after 2000 exited by IPO whilst a further 26% were acquired. 65% of the total startups analysed are still active.

Some media for growth funds, such as Ad4Ventures (Mediaset) and AggregateMedia boast a 42% and 48% exit rate, respectively. Out of 382 unique investments analysed, only 11 of them have folded (3% failure rate).

Path to Liquidity

Timing is everything, and the amount of time it takes startups to raise money means everything. The most notable difference is that startups backed by both media and VC investors reach the exit round (via IPO) 32 months (2 years and 8 months) faster than the traditional venture-backed startups. According to Pitchbook the industry average for a traditional investment to exit is about 8.2 years (source: VC investing still strong even as median time to exit reaches 8.2 years | VentureBeat ). Based on our analysis, the average time for media for growth-backed startups to exit is 5 years and 6 months.

Media for Growth-backed startups raise on average 3x more funding than other startups

According to CrunchBase data, the average successfully acquired U.S. startup has raised $29.4 million and sold for $155.5 million. Based on our analysis, there are 87 startups that formerly raised media for growth funding and got acquired. On average these companies raised $83 million pre-acquisition.

Media for growth funds with unicorns in their portfolio include Seven Ventures, Brand Capital International, and Channel4Ventures. Among the startups valued at greater than US$1B are AboutYou, Zalando, Pinterest, etc

We expect this number to change rapidly as more startups have raised media for growth investments in the last five years.


The insights shared in this article is the result of aggregated data from media for growth funds formed more than five years ago as well as publicly and privately available datasets. Overall we analysed the data of 382 unique investments where companies were founded in 2000 or later.

About mediaforgrowth

mediaforgrowth is a dedicated community of media for growth funds and industry experts specifically designed to align the interests of startups and investors. We partner with founders to grow revenue and scale internationally using media for growth investments. Our mission is to get you funded as efficiently as possible.

  • Prepare. We work with your team to understand your marketing and fundraising objectives and to see if media for growth is a good option for your business.
  • Engage. We provide direct support in finding investors (media and VCs) that are right for your fund size, and sector and are a strategic fit.
  • Negotiate. We can deploy specific media talent to help with the campaign evaluation, planning, creatives, and more.

Join the MFG free programme and discover more capital solutions to fund marketing costs effectively.