Havas Group has acquired British digital experience agency Inviqa for an “substantial eight-figure deal,“ the French holding company confirmed today.
The deal will help the Vivendi-owned firm to scale its capabilities in e-commerce, experience design and software engineering.
Yair Spitzer, co-founder and chief executive officer of Inviqa, said: “We’re truly delighted to join the Havas family. The move follows a very rigorous process to find the right strategic partner to support our goals, expand our reach and deliver even more value to our clients and their customers.
“With its emphasis on making a meaningful difference to brands, businesses and people, Havas’s mission is closely aligned with our focus on inclusive and purposeful digital products that drive the best customer and business outcomes. We’re really excited to bring together our deep expertise in digital experience and to collaborate with specialists across other complementary disciplines.”
Yannick Bolloré, chairman and chief executive of Havas Group, said in a statement: “As the world begins to transition out of the pandemic, customer experience (CX) continues to represent one of our biggest growth opportunities – as demonstrated by the success of the Havas CX network, which has grown by two-thirds since its launch in 2020. Inviqa will help us unlock even more cross-discipline opportunities, and I’m excited to welcome Yair and the team to the Havas family.”
The agency is set to be merged with Havas’s other UK experience agency, Ekino London, and move into Havas’s Village headquarters in King’s Cross. The Ekino brand will be discontinued in favor of Inviqa, but will still be used in France, the US and Singapore.
Inviqa has 150 employees and is headquartered in London, with further locations in Liverpool, Leeds and Berlin. Its clients include bicycle maker Brompton, Arsenal FC, fashion brand Reiss and cosmetics brand Molton Brown. The business was founded in 2007.
According to Yair, Havas’s offer beat several other interested parties to the punch. “We received several interesting offers, but were impressed above all by the quality of Havas’s people, its entrepreneurial spirit and the synergy across the group’s ‘Village’ model,” he said.
“Over a number of years, our acquisition strategy has focused on cutting-edge, best-in-class agencies within the digital customer experience space – and Inviqa certainly fits that bill,” said Bolloré.
Chris Hirst, global chief executive officer, Havas Creative, added: “The opportunity to substantially scale our experience design, technology and ecommerce capabilities in one of our key CX hubs was too good to turn down. With the addition of Inviqa, we now boast three market-leading CX agencies, spanning consultancy and brand strategy, experience design and customer engagement, that can go toe-to-toe with anyone. Their experience and approach will also help unlock conversations with brand chief technology officers and chief information officers, as well as chief marketing officers, presenting significant opportunities to cross-sell and for increased integration.”
Havas has invested in its CX offering in recent years, with demand for digital experience design services – which help brands create new routes to market for their products. Demand for such services has been high since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, and in October 2020 Havas launched a dedicated network to the vertical dubbed Havas CX.
The Drum will explore the expanding world of CX, and its role in the marketing mix, in an upcoming Deep Dive.