London-based socially-led creative network We Are Social (WAS) has acquired a majority stake in Socialize, the Middle East’s largest independent social media agency, said the agencies in a statement. The move, which is subject to regulatory approval, is We Are Social’s first acquisition, and extends its network to the Middle East and North Africa for the first time. We Are Social will now have 11 offices across nine countries, bringing its employee count to more than 700.
This is the first step in a strategy to accelerate We Are Social’s rapid growth with key acquisitions around the world. WAS says the partnership will give its clients insight and access to the fast-growing MENA market.
Socialize, based in Dubai with a team of about 40 people, has worked on a large regional client base, including Sony, General Mills, GEMS Education, Mercedes-Benz, Bioderma and Singapore Tourism. Socialize will continue operating as an independent brand under the leadership of Akanksha Goel, founder and managing director, while taking advantage of We Are Social’s global infrastructure and agency ecosystem.
We Are Social was founded by Robin Grant and Nathan McDonald in 2008 and celebrates its 10th anni versary this year. t has offices in New York, London, Paris, Milan, Munich, Berlin, Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing and Sydney. We Are Social became part of BlueFocus Communication Group in 2014. Robin Grant, chairman and cofounder of WAS, said: “We’re incredibly excited to be welcoming Akanksha and the rest of the Socialize team to the We Are Social family. They’re kindred spirits who share our creative culture and passion for social. As one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic regions in the world, the Middle East is absolutely crucial for our global clients and having Socialize as part of our network has fulfilled a long-held ambition.”
Goel said: “We Are Social’s entre preneurial spirit and future-focused offering makes it the perfect strategic fit for Socialize. We’re looking forward to joining forces with a network that is so like us from both a cultural and working practice perspective, a forward-thinking partner who shares our vision of the future and a global ecosystem that allows us to deliver greater value to our clients.”