UK finalist 2020
Dominic Joseph and Adam Ludwin
CEO & Co-founder and CVO & Co-founder, Captify
Adam and Dominic are co-founders of Captify, the largest independent holder of search data outside of Google, connecting the real-time searches of 2.2bn consumers globally. Captify’s privacy-centric Search Intelligence technology powers digital, programmatic advertising and insights for 800+ of the world’s biggest brands.
Ten years ago, Adam and Dominic set out to challenge a US dominated industry with a UK rival that not only brought more value to global brands, but one that considered consumers' needs, their experiences and their privacy.
Many said ‘A British business competing against Google? You’ll never win’
Their first investor pitch was to an Ex-Google exec - he said ‘it’ll never work’
They’ve continued to defy the odds, and not only proved they were a force to be watched but have become a benchmark for what UK tech businesses can achieve - with the right level of self-belief and passion.
But at times that self-belief manifested to self-doubt. A fast-paced, fast-growth trajectory alongside external barriers of belief led to periods of mental health and exhaustion. Today, both founders openly share their journey with Captify, their mentees and even other entrepreneurs.
Both founders come from unconventional backgrounds, neither holding degrees or qualifications. Dominic had a unique start to his career, touring the world for four years as a professional drummer signed to Polydor, but this dramatically ended when he was dropped by his label.
Adam displayed strong entrepreneurial qualities from a young age, from selling sweets at school to starting his first business using a Google Ad voucher. Adam tried university but later dropped out - from an early stage he knew that controlling his destiny was imperative to success. A sense of loss and serendipity led them to careers in advertising, where Adam became a client of Dom.
They both felt frustration at the lack of data that truly performed. Although Google had proven the value of search data, a whole world of differentiated search data existed outside of their walled gardens, across major publisher and ecommerce sites, so they embarked on a journey to unleash the value of it with Captify.
These inspiring leaders are tackling change at Captify and the wider world by putting their people and data to work for good through philanthropic agendas, such as D&I Task Forces and BeTheChange - their initiative which encompasses mental health, wellness, CSR and a journey towards a ‘climate positive’ footprint.
To date, Captify has raised $15m in investment and is backed by Panoramic Growth Equity and Smedvig Capital. In 13 global markets, 250+ employees are powering record company growth and changing the future of Search.