Ex-Specialist Works founder Jim Lewcock has announced his latest venture since selling his £130M Billing independent media agency earlier this year:
BLUE14 is focused on the ecommerce sector and will launch and invest in B2C brands and performance media companies.
“It’s a re-shaped model” says Lewcock, “We are a fast-moving group of angel investors, B2C brands and media companies – each helping the other to grow customers – it’s the classic virtuous circle of growth”.
Commenting on the industry issue of trust and media performance, Lewcock says he’s dealing with that head on, “Lets, be clear here, the largest cheques being written are from us to the B2C brands (£100K to £1m) to invest in advertising (optionally) through our media companies. There is no question of clumsy media advice, when you put your money where your mouth is, the truth swiftly follows.”
Lewcock is planning to personally invest up to £10m in BLUE14 which includes around 15-20 start-up investments and the construction of a high-tech, ‘retro chic’ office building as their Brighton HQ, dubbed ‘We Work on Acid’.
The wider plan is to secure external funds, aggressively grow the investment portfolio and expand their co-marketing concept across other UK locations.
Lewcock’s co-founders are ecommerce and direct marketing/CRM expert Guy Stainthorpe (ex-De Agostini boss) and performance marketing/DR guru Dominic Benton who sold his agency, TRT, to The Specialist Works in 2015.
BLUE14 opens with investments in eight different start-ups, including online craft beer/drinks retailer Flavourly, rewards marketing platform RewardsBag.com and CPA media specialist ePerformance.
According to Jim, the virtuous circle is already spinning, with over 10,000 new customers acquired for Flavourly via ePerformance in month one of their collaboration.