Croud is a global, full service, digital marketing partner. Through the seamless connection of data, technology and creativity, we develop strategies for sustainable growth that drives immediate business impact.
This promoted content is produced by a publishing partner of Open Mic. A paid-for membership product for partners of The Drum to self-publish their news, opinions and insights on thedrum.com - Find out more
Croud acquires leading luxury digital marketing agency VERB
December 17, 2021
Having also celebrated Croud’s ten-year anniversary this year, the news marks Croud’s first UK acquisition since receiving funding from private equity investment firm LDC in November 2019.
VERB provides full-service performance marketing for leading luxury and premium brands, such as Bloomingdales, Net-a-Porter, Flannels, Harrods, Calzedonia and Bugatti. The business was founded in 2013 by CEO Chris Donelly, who was joined later by Managing Director, Ben Askins.
International performance expertise for luxury brands
The partnership will allow Croud to better serve clients in the luxury sector, through combining Croud’s international scale, including their 2,500+ strong ‘Croudie’ network of on-demand digital experts, and VERB’S luxury expertise. This acquisition will enable Croud to not only better support premium brands to reach and engage new, affluent audiences across the globe, but also help expand Croud’s capabilities in influencer marketing, and digital web design and development.
Both Donnelly and Askins will remain with VERB in their current capacity, and the business will continue to operate under its brand name. Croud and VERB will work together seamlessly to provide clients the very best in performance, strategy, design and creative.
Co-founder and CEO at Croud, Luke Smith, said of the announcement: “Chris and I have spent a lot of time together in the last few years, and I love his entrepreneurial spirit. He, Ben and the team at VERB have built something quite unique - a digital-first luxury agency; the post-pandemic tailwinds towards digital have been felt in the luxury sector more than almost anywhere. VERB brings some new skills in which we’re looking to expand our capabilities, namely web design and influencer marketing. Allied to this is the cultural fit of our businesses - we care about the same things, including putting staff first and exceptional delivery for clients. We’ve taken our time to carefully select our first acquisition - now we can’t wait to get going.”
The global agency model reimagined
With VERB’s offices in London, Manchester, Shanghai and New York, and Croud’s in London, Shrewsbury, New York, Los Angeles, and Sydney, the deal takes Croud’s combined headcount to more than 340 staff.
This acquisition follows closely behind Croud’s acquisition of US-based data and analytics company impakt Advisors earlier this week, supported by Croud’s private equity partner LDC.
These acquisitions are the first steps in Croud’s journey to bolster organic growth with strategic M&A to reimagine the global agency model. After seeing an increase in demand from clients, Croud has been strengthening services such as ecommerce and data solutions, as well as growing its senior management team. Croud also welcomed Dean Gardner as global chief operating officer in August this year, to further drive their global M&A strategy, and build on their growth in the US market.