Charlotte Rawlings
Jan 31, 2023

Haymarket Ventures makes strategic investment in content platform Playe

Playe enables brands to partner creatives worldwide and works with McKinsey and Mr Yum among others.

Playe: from left to right, co-founders Rob Older, Jonas Espvall and Mitch Brown
Playe: from left to right, co-founders Rob Older, Jonas Espvall and Mitch Brown

Haymarket Group’s investment arm, Haymarket Ventures, has invested in content creation platform Playe.

The start-up, which enables brands to partner its global network of creatives, officially launches today (30 January) in the UK, Europe and Australia.

Haymarket joins fellow investors Fuel Ventures and 1in100 Ventures in helping to fund the start-up and focus on its international expansion.

Playe is currently working with brands such as McKinsey, Mr Yum, Bloomreach and Catawiki, and has more than 350 creatives using the platform to connect with the brands who need them.

Haymarket Business Media, which is Haymarket’s largest division and home to Campaign, was already a Playe customer before the investment. It used Playe to connect with video content creatives in Germany and Singapore, for brands including Windpower Monthly and C&IT.

Haymarket Ventures' investment is a strategic and collaborative partnership under which Haymarket will commit to funding over the next two years.

“Playe is exactly the kind of purpose-driven, innovative start-up Haymarket Ventures wants to work with,” Kevin Costello, chief executive of Haymarket, said. “Having seen the impressive results ourselves, as a customer of the platform, it was an easy decision to invest in them.”

Playe was founded in 2021 by Jonas Espvall, Mitch Brown and Rob Older, with the trio having experience working at companies including Adobe, Google and Salesforce.

Costello added: “The approach and work ethic of Jonas, Mitch and Rob have made them a joy for our teams to work with.

“This is much more than an investment for us and I look forward to seeing everything our strategic partnership with Playe has to offer in the coming months.”

Espvall said: “We believe the future of creative work is the gig economy. But engaging these creatives can be challenging, particularly for larger organisations with global demands.

“There’s a gap in the market for technology to solve this, and that is what Playe has set out to do. We support brand content teams with the capabilities to engage, manage and pay independent creatives all over the world.”

Brown said Haymarket Ventures has the deep content experience and expertise to help Playe expand.

“In today’s economy, clever brands are looking for ways to create more, with less – Playe gives them exactly that. With this funding, we will be able to take our business to the next level and make a real impact in the creative industry.”

Brown said brand content teams, agencies or freelancers can get in touch at [email protected]

Haymarket Ventures is looking to invest in start-ups across the broad technology and media sectors, where it has in-house expertise including martech, adtech, fintech and greentech.

Haymarket Group launched Haymarket Ventures in June 2022. Its first investment came in the form of GEEIQ, a London-based marketing, data and analytics platform.

Campaign UK

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