what3words raises 10m USD in media for equity from Brand Capital International to expand their business in India. Read more.

About the client

3 words to address the World

In most industrialised countries, having a physical address is something we take for granted. It’s hard to imagine life without an accurate address. But this is the stark reality for almost 75% of the world population who doesn't have access to adequate, addressing systems.

Co-founded in London in 2013 by Chris Sheldrick, what3words is the simplest way to talk about location. The system covers the entire world, never needs updating, and works offline. It is optimised for voice input and contains built-in error prevention to immediately identify and correct input mistakes.

The app enables people to find, share and navigate to what3words addresses in 50 languages to date.

Millions of what3words addresses are in use around the world, with thousands of businesses using them to save money, be more efficient and provide a better customer experience.

£100 million

in capital raised from investors such as Intel, Aramex, Deutsche Bahn, Subaru and the Sony Investment Fund.

170+ Countries

Millions of what3words addresses are in use around the world including some of the most rural areas in South Africa and Asia.

1000+ Clients

Including TATA Motors, Ford, Deutsche Bahn, Lotus, Triumph, The United Nations, Careem, Los Angeles Fire Department, AirBnb, among others.

How we worked together

Providing strategic introductions to investors and media funds

In a market filled with rapid change and uncertainty, D2C startups and media groups have started looking for new opportunities to help drive new ad spend on TV and grow revenue.

In April 2021, Grai Ventures released their first white paper to help educate startups and investors communities on the growing media for equity model and the advantages it presents to its stakeholders.

Grai invited senior media experts from Channel4 and Publicis Groupe, investors from German Media Pool and founders to discuss the evolution of Media for Equity as part of an exclusive roundtable event.

Chris Sheldrick, CEO and Co-Founder at what3words joined as one of the keynote speakers. Having closed several funding rounds including two Media for Equity deals, Chris saw in the event an opportunity to connect with other potential investors and media partners.

TV works very well for what3words. We will continue growing in the UK, but we do want to scale up fast abroad. We are looking at Asia, as well as other European countries. One of the really appealing things for a company of our relatively small size is to collaborate with a partner such as Grai Ventures that can help us scale in several countries. That’s a big win for us.

Chris Sheldrick

CEO and Co-Founder at what3words


During and after the event, Grai Ventures has facilitated strategic introductions to specialised investors. Chris is now in advance conversations with several investors to propel what3word's expansion to Europe and other international markets.

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Chris shares key lessons from running multiple Media for Equity campaigns

Choose your moment carefully

As a startup, you have to time it right. what3words was already at the stage when we had a lot of awareness through other partners, such as Emergency services in the UK. But we wanted to be in every single consumer home in the UK. Digital channels once used started to become less effective and that’s when we decided to think about other channels like TV.

Understand the media landscape in your target markets

The way we decide which countries to prioritise as part of our global expansion comes down to the logistical bit. Is it simple for us to get set up with an advertising plan in that country? That is a big part of our considerations.

Consider the Post-TV effect and the importance of coverage and frequency

To capitalise on that Post-TV effect it’s important to blend TV with digital channels, and maintain a consistent advertorial schedule. We've been using Radio to reinforce our message after our last TV campaign. We are also experimenting with running billboards in different countries.

We are on a mission to create successful startups. Beyond building our own internal ventures, we are determined to help ambitious founders scale their businesses.

22% of startups fail because of little understanding of marketing strategies and how the media works. Most “Direct to Consumer” businesses need to reach out further to get new customers. However, leveraging TV advertising requires an extensive amount of capital and knowledge of media.

We are driving major initiatives for startups, investors and established media groups to exchange expertise, collaborate, and raise Media for Equity funding.“

Media for Equity” is an alternative investment model where mature startups are trading equities to media conglomerates in exchange for advertising space.

About Grai

We can work with your team

Sponsor New Research

Understand the media landscape in your region and its readiness for Media for Equity investments

Build strong brand reputation and benefit from ongoing exposure

Grow relationships and gain direct access to your target market

Investor Services

Widen your net of potential investment opportunities

Increase your chances of exclusivity - tap into overlooked markets in Europe

Connect with international Media Funds from the US, Asia, Canada and Europe, and support each other's portfolio of companies

Startup Fundraising

Help you choose the right route to investment - be it Media for Equity, Private Equity of a combination of both

Help you choose the best investor match

Refine your pitch and produce the marketing collaterals to make you stand out