Baltimore-based Jellyfish announced its continued global expansion following an investment from Fimalac, a France-based investment group primarily focused on digital media and real estate and owned by billionaire Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière.
According to an announcement, the deal will see data-driven specialist Tradelab (already part of Fimalac Group), a leading programmatic buyer in Europe and a web analytics and optimization expert, integrated into Jellyfish. Comprised of 300 global experts, Tradelab boasts 120 specialists dedicated to technology, innovation and development alone and is a Google Marketing Partner.
Together, Jellyfish and Tradelab are creating a new kind of global business partner, the release noted. In addition to its integrated offering, which blends data, creative and media buying, Tradelab’s cutting-edge technologies will enhance the company’s value proposition across Google’s platforms.
According to the release, the deal will put the value of the new combined entity at approximately £500m ($644 million) with the ambition to be a multi-billion market cap company.
As well as raising the business’ headcount from 780 to almost 1,100, the expansion will give Jellyfish a presence in new markets including France, Germany, Italy and Brazil, bringing the total number of offices to 30. Further expansion is planned for Australia, South East Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Launched in 2005, Jellyfish has achieved 45 percent compound annual growth over the last eight years and has grown to become one of a few globally managed Google Marketing Partners. In the last 12 months, Jellyfish has opened six new offices, often establishing itself in new territories including APAC, the Nordics and the Middle East. As well as being named agency of the year on numerous occasions, Jellyfish also took a top 30 spot in the most recent Sunday Times International Track.
Jellyfish will continue to be led by co-founder and CEO Rob Pierre, in photograph, CFO Chris Lee and its global leadership team. Yohann Dupasquier, CEO and founder of Tradelab will join the Jellyfish board.
“Fimalac’s build-up strategy has proven highly successful in creating global leaders in financial ratings, digital media and production fields,” said Ladreit de Lacharrière. “Today I am very proud to help Jellyfish and Tradelab join forces to build a new global leader with a unique set of expertise and talents, helping brands navigate technology and data.”
Pierre said: “Today’s brands need digital partners who are able to offer capabilities that go beyond the traditional agency model. Building a digital business that is fit for the 21st century means adding technology, consultancy and training to agency services, and on top of this, delivering them at scale.
Pierre added: “The synergies we felt with Tradelab and the shared goal of building a world-leading digital offering, made this an ideal fit for our business. The investment and subsequent expansion will enable us to continue building our global footprint as we bring the Jellyfish brand to all four corners of the world. As we head towards 15 years in business, this deal marks the beginning of an exciting new phase in the Jellyfish story. As one chapter ends, another begins and I for one can’t wait to get started.”
Dupasquier of Tradelab stated: “Data is everywhere and users rightfully want more control over the relationships they have with brands. We’re thrilled to scale our technology and data-by-design approach with Jellyfish. It is essential for us to help brands through this revolution and take a scientific approach to making them relevant everywhere in the world.”