Dentsu Aegis Buys Fetch for £30m

Fetch buy
Fetch co-founder James Connelly (r) with Dentsus Robert Horler (l) and Fetch COO Greg Grimmer

Mobile agency Fetch has been sold to Dentsu Aegis Network for a figure in the region of £30m. Fetch will retain its brand identity and work collaboratively with Dentsu Aegis Network’s brand, media and communications businesses to help scale and accelerate the group’s mobile capabilities.

Fetch was founded just five years ago by James Connelly and Declan Reddington. The company is headquartered in London, with offices in the US, Germany and Hong Kong, and 96 people.

“With consumers increasingly engaging with brands through mobile devices, mobile media has become a critical part of the communication ecosystem and a key driver for business outcomes,” said Robert Horler, CEO for Northern Europe at Dentsu Aegis Network. “Growing our digital profile across all capabilities is one of our five strategic priorities and this deal clearly recognises the potential we see in both Fetch and the wider mobile market.”

Fetch co-founder Connelly described the sale as “a logical next step for Fetch as we look to deliver our ambitious growth plans and scale our business globally…  Dentsu Aegis Network has a proven track record of growing digital businesses and a clear appreciation of the increasing importance of mobile in the media landscape. We are very excited about the opportunity to partner with Dentsu Aegis Network to deliver world-class mobile capabilities on behalf of an increasing number of mobile-focused clients.”

David Murphy writes:
If you want an exit in the mobile marketing business, get into mobile media. The first company active in this space, Ring Ring Media, was acquired by Amobee in January 2010, just 18 months after launching. Amobee subsequently sold out to Singtel for £203m just over two years later.

Inside Mobile was bought by M&C Saatchi in 2010, and now Fetch has sold out to Dentsu for £30m. There are not many established independents left in this space, but it’s worth noting that Yodel Mobile, which, like the market for a while seemed to struggle to know exactly what to focus on, has built a solid business over the past couple of years, with mobile media buying at the heart of it.