PARIS — You & Mr Jones, the “brandtech” firm founded by former Havas chief executive officer David Jones, said Thursday it has acquired U.S. influencer marketing company Collectively, which it will combine with its influencer platform TheAmplify to create what it is billing as the world leader in influencer marketing.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The combined company, which will operate under the Collectively brand, aims to solve three big issues faced by marketers: the capacity to operate globally, demonstrable return on investment, and fraud-free, robust and transparent metrics, You & Mr Jones said in a statement.
Its all-women executive team will be headed by Collectively cofounder and ceo Ryan Stern as ceo, while TheAmplify ceo Amy Luca will take the role of president and head of international. Collectively cofounder and executive vice president Alexa Tonner will serve as chief operating officer.
Collectively, which is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in New York, was founded in 2013, making it a pioneer in its field. From its headquarters in Los Angeles, TheAmplify has expanded over the last three years and now has offices in New York, London and Paris, and operations across South America and Asia-Pacific.
“The deal will bring together TheAmplify’s global community building expertise and proprietary brand-safety and health-tracking technology for managing large scale influencer marketing programs with the full-service social and influencer strategy, campaign management, and industry-leading benchmarking and analytics for which Collectively is renowned,” the company said.
Collectively works with numerous leading technology brands and has built privileged relationships with the major tech platforms, it added.
The combined entity has named Collectively’s Natalie Silverstein senior vice president, head of innovation; TheAmplify’s Rashmi Nigam vice president, head of product; Angelita Sierra vice president, North America, and Fiona Hughes European managing director.
You & Mr Jones, which aims to give companies the tools to bring marketing work in-house, raised a $200 million funding round in late 2019, giving it a valuation of $1.3 billion. Its revenues rose 27 percent in organic terms in the first half of 2020 as COVID-19 increased the need for brands to accelerate their digital transformation.
“We’ve had a great first six months of the year delivering very strong organic growth, underscoring the strength and relevance of our technology-driven business model and the extent to which brandtech is disrupting the traditional category — one of the key building blocks of our model has been people-powered marketing,” said Jones.
“Merging Collectively and TheAmplify is an important step on our journey to the build the world’s number-one genuinely global influencer capability for our clients. Alongside our investments in Traackr and Tribe Dynamics, it gives us unparalleled capabilities in the influencer space,” he added.
Stern noted that culture is changing at an unprecedented pace, and audiences are increasingly turning to influencers on social media to make sense of events.
“To stay relevant in 2020 and beyond, brands must recognize the power of people-powered marketing and advocacy,” she said. “Being part of the You & Mr Jones Group will give us major global reach and access to its platform of the most advanced brand and marketing technology companies.”
TheAmplify’s Luca, meanwhile, noted that there are still very few companies able to deliver campaigns globally for the world’s biggest brands. “It’s becoming a real pain-point and one we believe we are uniquely placed to solve,” she said.
Since its launch in 2015, You & Mr Jones has acquired seven companies and one start-up, and invested in 21 others, including Pinterest and Niantic, the developer of the augmented reality-powered mobile app Pokémon Go. The group employs 3,000 people in 40 countries.