Iris Acquires Founded, Extends B2B Reach

Iris, part of Cheil Worldwide, is acquiring Founded, a creative agency with offices in London and San Francisco. This deal will further extend Iris’ expertise in business-to-business (B2B) marketing, CRM, creative technology and strategic planning. Plus, Iris will now have a footprint on the west coast through Founded's San Francisco office, opened in 2015. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Founded will continue to operate under its own name. There will be no changes in staff or structure with the agency's two founders Richard Mabbott and Richard Perry continuing to serve as Partner and CEO, respectively. 

The 1000-strong Iris now gains an additional 50 staffers. Iris CEO Ian Miller and global CFO Simon Hargreaves will join Founded's board. Its roster of clients include P&O Cruises, Uniqlo, HSS Hire Plc., SAP, Financial Times, Moneycorp, WSAtkins, WePay, Capita Plc., and Zipcar. 



This alliance will bring two similar agencies together to make them stronger under the same network, the agencies said. Both "share an ambition to form a disruptive B2B model, to help modern day brands be more agile, creative and ‘fit for participation.'"

Founded will work alongside Iris’ consulting, CRM, data & insight team Iris Concise, and its existing B2B teams in Munich, Chicago and Singapore, where Iris established an outpost via its  acquisition of Pepper Global in 2014. 

That same year, Cheil Worldwide acquired a stake in Iris with options to purchase 100% of the agency. Iris now has 14 offices globally. (Earlier today Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy confirmed that the company has been in acquisition talks with Cheil.)

"We have only one priority – to serve our clients with the very best skills and resources we have access to," said Perry. "We’ve now strengthened our ability to do this. We’ve watched and admired Iris for many years and love and respect what they do.  We’re a young and ambitious agency and we know that being part of a great family like iris will help accelerate both our creative and growth ambitions.”

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