According to Investopedia, “smart money” is “cash invested or wagered by those considered to be experienced, well-informed, in-the-know or all three.”
Last month, smart money investors Verizon, WPP, AwesomenessTV (majority owned by DreamWorks Animation) joined UpFront Ventures and others by investing $27 million in Hispanic digital startup Mitú.
Smart money investors are betting on Mitú for two reasons. Mitú is a great company with a proven and revolutionary business model. But more importantly, smart money investors are betting that marketers will increasingly need to reach digital Hispanics to deliver growth.
Founded only four years ago, Mitú is a new generation technology/media company that focuses on creating and distributing culturally relevant content to Latinos via digital channels. With over 2 billion monthly online video views, Mitú’s culturally explicit content such as “Cholos try Kale Chips” is striking a chord, billions of chords, with Hispanic millennials.
While Mitú’s meteoric rise is certainly impressive, the recent smart money investments in the company speak volumes about the potential and importance of digital Hispanics for marketers looking to drive brand growth.
According to Pew Research, the Hispanic population reached a new high of 55.4 million or 17.4% of the U.S. population in 2014. As the nation's largest minority, U.S. Hispanics controlled a whopping $1.5 trillion in buying power in 2015, according to Nielsen. Although the current size and power of the U.S. Hispanic market should be enough for marketers to pay attention to, it is what’s coming in the near future that is most appealing: Millions of tech- and mobile-savvy Hispanic millennials, who are critical for brands to win.
Mitú’s CEO Roy Burstin sums it up perfectly in Variety when he refers to the U.S. Hispanic millennial demographic; “we think of this demo not as a niche but as a part of the mainstream.” Burstin is right, according to Experian, U.S. Hispanics make up nearly one-in-four Millennials and to reach them, marketers must think digital and mobile.
As I discussed in my last post, Hispanic millennials are extremely digitally savvy and are more likely to engage with brands and transact online and on their mobiles. A 2015 study by David Burgos of TNS found that 53% of Hispanic millennials are early adopters, mobile centric, and heavily influenced and influential on social media vs. 47% of the U.S. market overall.
Marketers looking to place bets should follow the smart money and bet on the Hispanic digital market.