London-based Bolt Insight, which helps global and local brands collect market research in 120+ countries in a matter of hours, has received £1.275m investment from vc company 212, to accelerate its plans to become the fastest growing market research-tech business. The investment will be used to develop new products for new and existing customers, employ new staff in its research and commercial teams, as well as furthering plans for expansion to additional markets, all of which will help achieve Bolt’s vision of connecting brands with their most relevant target audiences.
Bolt Insight, which launched in the UK in January 2020 at the height of the pandemic, has grown eightfold since then, has UK-based clients such as Vodafone, Capco, Brand Finance and international clients including Sodexo, Premier Foods, L’Oreal, Samsung, Diageo and Zeiss for whom Bolt works across several international markets including in the UK. Its key asset is combining disruptive behavioral recruitment targeting to help companies big and small connect with their audiences however niche, through anyone using a digital device, which means it can provide global data coverage among very specific consumer targets which traditional research methodologies simply cannot achieve.
The Market Research Society estimates that the UK research insight and analytics industry is worth £7billion and, according to ESOMAR, the data and analytics segment has doubled in the last 10 years, growing 8% per year with a third of this spending driven by market research in the FMCG sector. The increasing importance of data transformation is evidenced by the rise in the position of CDO (Chief Data Officer) and in Europe 26% of organisations now have one, especially in sectors like insurance, banking and media & entertainment (Source: PWC).
The enormous potential in the UK market for Bolt is partly a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as e-commerce changed the consumer landscape to a purely digital one and consumer behaviours shifted. According to McKinsey, between March and August 2020, one in five consumers switched brands, and seven in ten tried new digital shopping channels. The retail sector experienced ten years of growth in digital penetration in a matter of months.
Ester Marchetti, ex Unilever, Reckitt and Nielsen, and co-founder of Bolt Insight explains “The UK market, a key hub both in terms of company headquarters and market research innovation was crucial in finding early adopters of our disruptive methodology in what has been a largely traditional area: market research. Companies go to great lengths to understand their customers. Consumer-centricity and empathy are a must for any organisation willing to thrive amidst uncertainty. Our behavioural targeting–based methodology and unparalleled access to consumers fuels our vision to give brand marketeers a virtual seat next to their customers, so that they can co-create with them, and reflect what audiences want in their strategy, innovation and communications.”
Bolt Insight’s success is based on two key market dynamics: the fact that 9 out of 10 products and services fail within the first two years post-launch and that consumer expectations and preferences are changing quickly, markets are fragmenting and companies need to understand their customers better and faster. As a result, the insights world is going through a transformation. Bolt Insight assists global companies with their expansion strategies and is proving particularly successful with brands in consumer goods, retail, fashion, beauty, health & lifestyle, e-commerce, financial services, pharmaceuticals and telecoms.
Ali Karabey from 212 who will join the Bolt Insight Board said “We invest in problem-solvers and teams that tackle hard, global-scale problems with simple and elegant solutions. We are convinced by the Bolt Insight team’s ability to dramatically transform the quantitative market research space, enabling companies to collaboratively and openly develop their products to address users’ wants and needs better.“
Founded in 2020 by a team of professionals navigating the market research space for 10+ years, Bolt Insight addresses all the problems typically associated with traditional methods including for example the expense and time of quantitative market research and the ineffectiveness of panels and cold calls given a global society’s ever-changing needs and agenda. At the same time, Bolt is pleased to have made market research available to companies with fewer resources – in both team time and budget.