26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Jessica Peltz-Zatulove, MDC Ventures

Jessica Peltz-Zatulove has been a partner at MDC Ventures, marketing firm MDC Partners’ corporate venture capital unit formerly known as KBS Ventures, since 2014.

Peltz-Zatulove considers MDC Ventures’ numerous exits and commercial agreements have demonstrated the power of the unit which has successfully scaled ventures, as the value it provides to the parent organisation is immense.

MDC’s chief financial officer, David Doft, praised both MDC Ventures and Peltz-Zatulove, saying: “Jessica has operationalised MDC Ventures to provide real strategic value to our investments, our business and our clients.

“Her efforts have put MDC Partners on the front lines with the innovations and technologies that can meaningfully improve performance for our client base, and she has served as a catalyst for innovation and experimentation in partnership with our broad network of advertising and marketing agencies.”

In 2018, Peltz-Zatulove sourced three US-based investments:

  • Seed round for Veritonic, a creator of an analytics platform that assesses the quality of audio input.
  • Seed round for Gradient.io, a machine-learning platform that enhances brands’ presence on e-commerce group Amazon’s website.
  • Post-seed for Perksy, a developer of an app-based market research service.

The unit co-invested last year with venture capital funds including Bain Capital, Founders Collective, Torch Capital, Flying Fish, Pioneer Square Labs, Newark Venture Partners, Kiwi Ventures and others.

Peltz-Zatulove helped facilitate and close the acquisition of portfolio company Roost, a smart home device producer, to Bounce Exchange, an advertising technology company backed by digital media holding company Trigger Media, and a community merger for RLY, a provider of video and photo looping social networking app, to Trash, a self-editing video app provider. Meanwhile, portfolio company Adaptly, a social media ad-buying company, was acquired by Ireland-headquartered professional services company Accenture.

MDC Ventures actively invests in data and analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, commerce, audio, voice, content and martech sectors. Peltz-Zatulove scaled the corporate advisory board to 18 agencies within its holding company, with more than 100 employees participating in ventures initiatives, helping with due diligence, pilot tests and other duties.

She also brokered commercial arrangements for portfolio companies, for example:

  • Gradient and MDC’s digital media marketing agency Unique Influence for skin health products supplier Proactiv.
  • Perksy and MDC’s digital media agency Assembly for Nickelodeon, a children’s TV entertainment branch of media group Viacom.
  • Online content licensing platform provider Catch & Release and MDC’s marketing and advertising agency Doner.
  • Audio input quality assessment analytics platform creator Veritonic and MDC’s marketing and advertising agency Forsman & Bodenfors for meats, cheeses and condiments supplier Boar’s Head.

Furthermore, Peltz-Zatulove expanded proprietary educational initiatives for the advertising industry:

  • Collision Conversation dinner series.
  • Immerse event series.
  • Educational webinars on emerging trends in martech, highlighting portfolio companies.

Recognised by Forbes as one of the seven women leaders in CVC, Peltz-Zatulove contributed an opinion editorial piece on smart speaker market on Adweek, comparing and contrasting Google and Amazon’s respective smart devices. She was interviewed by Velocitize on martech and she moderated a MediaPost discussion on D2C (direct-to-consumer) disrupting consumer packaged goods.

Peltz-Zatulove has also been involved actively in promoting gender diversity in the venture capital community:

  • Running the Women in VC group in New York City – with 300 women.
  • Creating and managing the Global Women in VC directory, which now includes more than 800 women across 500 funds in a score of countries.
  • Mentoring at Built by Girls, guiding promising young women with interest in tech-related fields.
Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.