Advertising network Denstu Aegis is merging the UK-based mobile agency Fetch and another of its UK-based digital specialists, Steak.
Fetch will take on board all of Steak’s 30 staff, bringing its total headcount to around 180 people.
James Connelly launched Fetch in London in 2009. Fetch made a name for itself as a mobile specialist that works with startups or legacy businesses looking to turnaround the mobile element of their business, through apps, mobile websites, mobile products, and mobile ads. Its clients have included Uber, Facebook, eBay, Expedia, and Hulu. Connelly sold Fetch to Dentsu Aegis Network in a deal Campaign estimated was worth £30 million (the price was never made public) in 2014.
Steak, meanwhile, was founded in 2005 and specialises in digital performance services like search, online content, and digital ad-buying. The company’s tagline is “Digital. Well Done” — a steak reference. Its biggest client is Selfridges.
Fetch and Steak first began working with each other in November this year on a pitch to win a project with The Daily Telegraph. They won the account and the merger became official this month, with Steak’s management team now reporting into Fetch UK managing director Jo Sutherland.
Connelly told Business Insider Fetch had already grown “well over” 50% in terms of revenue last year, not including Steak. He said the merger will mean Fetch can shake off its perception of just being a mobile agency and will help it immediately broaden out its digital offering.
He explained the rationale behind the move: “Broadly speaking, we have two types of clients: the startups and the turnarounds. Most agencies set themselves up to focus on their turnarounds. Specialists businesses, or large digital agencies, they dream of working with Unilever and P&G — that’s success for them. What’s unique about Fetch is that it has unashamedly designed the agency for startups but it is respected by turnarounds. As startups grow and, ironically, act more traditionally, they become scaled, their KPIs [key performance indicators] change, [and] people in the business come in from traditional backgrounds. So we need to offer capabiltiies outside of mobile and performance and the growth marketing world.”
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