BlueGlass Interactive, an online marketing agency headquartered in Tampa, Florida, is expanding its global footprint yet again with the acquisition of the London, U.K.-based firm Quaturo in an all-equity deal. The company did not reveal additional acquisition terms, but it did say that all Quaturo employees will stay on to join BlueGlass as a part of deal, including Managing Director Kevin Gibbons.
This is the third acquisition for BlueGlass, which previously snapped up search marketing company 3 Dog Media in 2010, and digital agency Voltier this January. BlueGlass CEO Richard Zwicky characterizes the new deal as “larger than the Voltier deal” because bootstrapped Quaturo is a “revenue-positive, cash flow-positive entity that has much higher revenue per head than Voltier did.”
Following the acquisition, the Quaturo offices will be rebranded BlueGlass, and the team in London will be staffed up over the next 12 months, quadrupling the current five-person team.
Zwicky explains that BlueGlass customers have been asking the company to take on more and more global business over the years, and BlueGlass has quickly been ramping up through both acquisitions and hiring to oblige them. The company, whose more than 100 customers include big-name brands like Disney, Home Shopping Network, Allstate, eBay, Macy’s, the NFL, Masco, Thomson Reuters, Condé Nast, and others, was just an office in Tampa and a smaller one in L.A. a year ago. Today, it has a large office in L.A., one in New York, one in Australia, one in South America, and, as of Thursday evening, one in London.
For BlueGlass, the appeal of Quaturo was mainly for its local expertise developed over the past eight years, which will help the company address the growing demand in the U.K. “Only 38 percent of U.K. companies have any sort of content marketing strategy, let alone any other form of strategy,” Zwicky says. “And two-thirds have no budget for anything content-related….it’s a huge opportunity,” he adds. “The local market isn’t able to support when [brands] want to roll out a comprehensive strategy, because the few companies that can fulfill the U.K. are going to be overwhelmed by the demand.”
Zwicky also notes that over the summer WPP acquired AKQA for $550 million, and now the big five holding companies (WPP, Omnicom, Publicis, Interpublic, and Hava) own most of the largest firms. “We’re filling the gap between what the big holding companies are offering,” says Zwicky, “and the capacity of the traditional digital marketing agency…that has a limited scale and potential for growing with customers.”
With Quaturo’s team joining BlueGlass, the company now has a presence in the region, but also the savvy, technology and expertise of BlueGlass, too. The company has historically set itself apart from competitors in the space by not relying on third parties for its data, but rather on building out its own proprietary tool set for accessing data, analysis and reporting.