Advance, through its Condé Nast unit, is best known as the owner of Wired, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, and its first acquisition of a digital agency marks a new path for the magazine publisher. The deal also comes as a number of other companies in the space have been acquired, including mobile development shop Ubermind (purchased by Deloitte Digital) and social media agency Spring Creek Group (acquired by Mediabrands).
Founded by entrepreneur Bill Predmore, POP grew without any outside investment over the years. Last year, the company topped $35 million in revenue, the tenth consecutive year of double digital revenue growth. Predmore will remain with Advance, and no layoffs are planned as part of the acquisition.
“The driver for the sale was growth. Although we’ve always done a pretty good job in that department — average revenue growth of more than 25 percent each year for the past 10 years — we believe we can grow more quickly as part of a larger entity,” Predmore tells GeekWire. “Advance is an amazing fit for us: they are privately-held, invest for the long-term and are supportive of our ambitions to scale the agency beyond North America. We’ll operate as an independent division of Advance, which will give us the freedom we desire while still allowing access to the resources we need. We feel very lucky to be part of the Advance family.”
POP employs about 200 people across offices in Seattle and San Jose, Costa Rica, and is expected to add about 50 employees this year. The acquisition will help POP expand its services, which includes mobile app development, interactive design, copywriting and SEO, globally, Predmore said. POP will operate as an independent division of Advance.
“As digital becomes an increasingly significant part of our business, the need for collaboration with thoughtful, forward-looking, digital-first thinkers is critical,” said Bob Sauerberg, president of Condé Nast. “In POP we will have a sister company with nearly two decades in the digital trenches, and we look forward to the many opportunities we’ll have to work together.”
POP’s most recent work includes branding campaigns for Microsoft’s launch of Outlook.com, as well as Nike+ TrialZone.
In addition to founding POP, Predmore emerged late last year as the owner of the professional women’s soccer team, The Seattle Reign.