Performance Horizon operates an exemplar Product business model in a space called digital partner marketing (where advertisers pay partners to drive sales). Through their Software-as-a-Service model, Performance Horizon’s core technology enables marketers to apply performance-based commercial models to drive sales growth across a wide range of digital marketing partners – from affiliates, comparison shopping engines and aggregators through to apps, media partners, meta-partners and social media portals. This includes the ability to optimize partner performance, deploy creative, manage partner and product spend, easily integrate data into existing workflows and systems, as well as process partner payments globally.


Performance Horizon was started in 2010 by a group of Affiliate Marketing veterans. Among them, Malcolm Cowley and Paul Fellows, who previously founded buy.at, an affiliate network, acquired by AOL.

The core performance marketing technology platform was launched in 2011. Everything Everywhere became the first major UK client in May 2011 followed by the first major US client, Nextag, in October 2011. The team has grown to over 100 employees serving about 100 customers, with average growth above 100% YoY.

Today, Performance Horizon is the leading provider of SaaS solutions for digital partner marketing. The company is headquartered in Newcastle, England with offices in the U.S., U.K., Japan and Australia; Performance Horizon’s platform drives $3B+ in top line revenues across 155,000 marketing partners in over 170 countries. The company is backed by top-tier investors including Mithril, Greycroft Partners and DN Capital.


  • Major brands in travel, retail, finance, Telecom and digital content
  • Digital marketing agencies
  • Digital marketing partners

Learn more about the Product Business Model

A dyadic transactional relationship where your good or service can be designed and delivered without prior interactions with the customer.

Engagement  — Value Creation Proposition

Performance Horizon enables brands to drive customer acquisition, revenue increases and profitability gains through their online marketing partners. This includes the ability to optimize campaign performance, deploy creative, manage partner and product spend, adjust commission rates and run promotions on the fly, easily integrating data into existing workflows and systems via the open architecture as well as process partner payments globally.

Delivery — Value Chain

Performance Horizon solutions including its core performance marketing application and platform are available and delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS).

Monetisation — Value Capture

Performance Horizon’s business model is based on providing the technology solution to clients and retaining a percentage of the underlying value driven through the platform.


Disclaimer — Written by Yun Jung and edited by James Knuckles under the direction of Prof Charles Baden-Fuller, Cass Business School. This case is designed to illustrate a business model category. It leverages public sources and is written to further management understanding, and it is not meant to suggest individuals made either correct or incorrect decisions. © 2016 Published 21 April 2016