The International advertising firm, Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired 51% of stake in the Pune-based digital firm, Sokrati for an undisclosed amount. Dentsu is acquiring the stake with an option of making it a wholly owned subsidiary in the future.
Earlier in August 2016, Dentsu had acquired a major stake in Merkle, a global data-driven, technology-enabled performance marketing agency and the largest independent agency in the US for CRM, digital, and search. The company now plans to launch Merkle into the key Indian market and it will be rebranded as Merkle|Sokrati.
Ashish Bhasin, chairman and CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia, said, “Globally we acquired Merkel who are the leaders in data analytics. In India, while everybody is talking about big data and analytics, we are the first ones to make significant investment in the area. As a group, we are the most dominant players in most areas of digital advertising. With Sokrati on board, we will now be more than twice the size of any of our competitors in search and performance. Out of 3,500 staff in India, about 1,500 will be digital professionals, and over 35% of our revenue—a market-leading statistic—will come from digital.”
Founded in 2009 by Ashish Mehta, Anubhav Sonthalia, Santosh Gannavarapu, and Kaushik Paranjape, Sokrati is a data analytics and performance marketing and analytics company.
The company holds a reputation for delivering services in the mobile advertising and e-commerce domains. Currently, it has a team of 138 members and are capable to drive integrated digital services, circling around advanced data analytics and CMR based marketing. It also includes the integration of offline and hyper local marketing for its e-commerce client base. The company claims to have a gross revenue of about $3.5 Mn (INR 225 Cr) for the year ended March 2017.
After the acquisition, Sonthalia will become the CEO of Merkle Sokrati and will report to Vivek Bhargava, CEO of performance, Dentsu Aegis Network India, and Zhengda Shen, president, Merkle Asia-Pacific, whereas, Sokrati’s CEO Ashish Mehta, enterprise business head Anubhav Sonthalia and head of innovations Santosh Kumar Gannavarapu will join the Dentsu leadership team.
In April 2017, Dentsu acquired Smile Group owned SVG Media Pvt. Ltd. and the current acquisition will support Columbus’ expansion in Asia Pacific.