Social Chain, the Manchester-based social media marketing agency, has acquired five companies to expand its portfolio acquisition of owned brands and enhance its marketing capabilities. In all five cases, Social Chain has taken a majority stake in exchange for shares and cash.

Social Chain is like a startup studio but for social media brands. The company creates, develops, and scales social brands, i.e. online businesses, publishers, or communities that sell wares, services, or otherwise accumulate profit, across various industries.

This batch of acquisitions includes KoRo, an online superfoods retailer; Solidmind, supplier of well-being supplements; Urbanara, an interior decor company; Conteam:below, one of Germany’s largest owner-operated digital marketing agencies; and drtv.agency, a TV advertising agency utilising proprietary technology and data to optimise customer acquisition and provide clarity on ROI from media spend.

The latter two acquisitions are of particular value to Social Chain: the two brands bring on additional marketing expertise, expanded geographic reach, and ultimately enrich the “first-party data” in LINKS, Social Chain’s social marketing platform.

Financially speaking, Social Chain estimates these acquisitions will contribute over €50 million in revenue and over €2 million in earnings to the business in 2020. The consolidated annual turnover of the acquired companies was approximately €35 million in 2019.

Founded and headquartered in Manchester in 2014, Social Chain is the motherboard of 50 owned brands with a collective 80 million followers worldwide. The company’s 700 employees are spread across offices in Berlin, London, New York, and Munich. At the end of last year, the company listed publicly on the Xetra electronic exchange and the Düsseldorf stock exchange. An IPO is planned for mid-2020.

Co-founder and co-CEO Steven Bartlett expressed confidence in where the business is headed, stating: “Social Chain is becoming a global leader in building and scaling owned social-first brands and disruptive social-first media and marketing services. These strategic acquisitions allow us to continue laying the important and necessary foundations in order to deliver our ambitious global vision. Today’s announcement is one of many steps we intend on taking to further accelerate our growth in 2020. The industry should brace itself!”

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