Influencer agency Goat to be merged with GroupM’s Inca after WPP deal
The British holding company has acquired Goat from its private equity backers Inflexion.
WPP has acquired Goat for an undisclosed fee
The agency is one of the largest influencer agencies in the sector, with 150 staff based in the UK and US, and its clients include Dell, Mars, Audi and Nivea.
Christian Juhl, the global chief exec of GroupM, says the deal will help the network offer influencer expertise at a larger scale. He commented: “Influencer marketing is an exciting growth area for our business and one in which our clients are looking for globally scaled and outcomes-driven capabilities.
“The addition of Goat to GroupM as part of GroupM Nexus gives us the ability to deliver accountable, cross-channel, and data-driven influencer solutions for clients anywhere in the world. Combined with the exceptional talent at Inca, we expect Goat to play a critical role in helping us define the next era of media at GroupM.”
According to Mark Read, chief executive of WPP, demand for influencer marketing with the coordination and scale of global media planning is rising. He said: “Influencer marketing is a key growth priority for the industry and for WPP. Our clients are increasingly planning budgets at a global scale and require partners that have the global reach to help deliver, whilst driving engagement and impact at a local level. Goat’s proven track record in the influencer marketing space paired with GroupM’s record of excellence will continue to build on our unparalleled expertise in this area.”
The Goat brand will supersede Inca and absorb its staff of 150, under the GroupM Nexus umbrella.
Arron Shepherd, co-founder and chief exec of Goat, commented: “We couldn't be happier to be joining WPP and GroupM to bring our leading global influencer marketing and digital solutions to some of the best brands in the world. We are delighted to combine forces with the amazing talent at Inca to deliver even better value for our clients all over the world.”
Though the terms of the deal between Inflexion and WPP haven’t been disclosed, Goat’s revenue last year exceeded $100m.
Shepherd added: “Inflexion has offered us tremendous support as we have scaled the business in the UK and internationally. In particular, their knowledge of the US market and strong digital capabilities have added significant value to the business. We have delivered rapid international growth, and we are delighted with what we have achieved together.”
Malcolm Coffin, head of the enterprise fund at Inflexion, said: “The Goat team inspired us with their passion, energy and innovation from the first time we met with them, and throughout it has been a dynamic partnership that has ultimately achieved fantastic results.”