Sunday 4 December 2016

Fitzmaurice's €100m digital marketing group Brandtone targets Myanmar

Published 21/06/2015 | 02:30

Brandtone, the Dublin digital marketing business that markets brands like Pepsi and Kelloggs to the developing world, is eyeing up Myanmar as its next market
Brandtone, the Dublin digital marketing business that markets brands like Pepsi and Kelloggs to the developing world, is eyeing up Myanmar as its next market

Brandtone, the Dublin digital marketing business that markets brands like Pepsi and Kelloggs to the developing world, is eyeing up Myanmar as its next market.

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Myanmar, with a population of 70m, is one of the world's least developed countries.

The company, founded by Donald Fitzmaurice and Padraig McBride, recently completed an €18.5m fundraising round to enable expansion into this and other new markets.

Brandtone is thought to have been approached for a sale, with Facebook, Twitter and WPP among potential buyers. While its owners are open to a sale, a deal is not imminent, a source said.

The marketing business, which has 130 staff, is also widening its client base to include financial, agrichemical and healthcare brands. Its current clients are mostly consumer goods companies like Unilever and Kelloggs.

It helps brand to market in areas with low smartphone penetration, running SMS-based reward schemes in some instances and building up a database of shopper profiles in countries like India and China.

Its backers include: Unilever, which led a series A funding round; Verlinvest (the fund which manages the wealth of InBev's owners), who led its series B round; and Syngenta, a Swiss-based agri fund, which led its series C funding round.

Peter Bamford, chairperson of Superdry owner, SuperGroup, had joined Brandtone's board to help steer its foray into new markets. However, after holding the position for around six months, Bamford recently stepped down. Daniel Grossmann, an appointee of Verlinvest, has taken on the chairman role in his place.

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