Croud is delighted to announce their acquisition of the leading luxury performance marketing agency VERB Brands, strengthening their proposition for luxury and premium brands.
The news marks Croud’s first UK acquisition since receiving funding from private equity investment firm LDC in November 2019 and also celebrating Croud’s ten-year anniversary this year.
Founded in 2013 by Chris Donnelly, CEO, and later joined by Ben Askins, Managing Director, VERB provides full-service performance marketing for many of the world’s leading luxury and premium brands, including Flannels, Bloomingdales, Calzedonia, Net-a-Porter, Bugatti, and Harrods.
International Performance Expertise for Luxury Brands
Combining VERB’s luxury expertise with Croud’s international scale, including their 2,500+ strong ‘Croudie’ network of on-demand digital experts, will enable Croud to better serve clients in the luxury sector, helping them reach and engage new, affluent audiences across the globe. The acquisition will also help expand Croud’s capabilities in digital web design and development, as well as influencer marketing.
VERB will continue to operate under its brand name, with both Donnelly and Askins remaining with the business in their current capacity. VERB and Croud will work together seamlessly to provide clients the very best in strategy, performance, creative and design.
Luke Smith, co-founder, and CEO at Croud, 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.
Reimagining the Global Agency Model
The deal takes Croud’s combined headcount to more than 340 staff working across multiple offices; including Croud’s London, Shrewsbury, New York, Los Angeles, and Sydney offices, and VERB’s offices in London, Manchester, New York, and Shanghai.
Supported by Croud’s private equity partner LDC, this acquisition follows hot on the heels of Croud’s acquisition of US-based data and analytics company impact Advisors earlier this week. These acquisitions are the first steps in Croud’s journey to bolster organic growth with strategic M&A to reimagine the global agency model.
The recent focus has been on bolstering senior management and internal capabilities, including data solutions and e-commerce after seeing increased demand for such services from clients. In August this year, Croud also welcomed Dean Gardner as a global chief operating officer to build on their growth in the US market, and further drive their global M&A strategy.
Croud is an award-winning, global, full-service digital marketing partner, specializing in developing key strategies for sustainable business growth.