banyan-hartzDeloitte Digital is taking a deeper interest in Seattle, buying social media consultancy Banyan Branch for an undisclosed sum. The deal marks the second big acquisition in Seattle for Deloitte Digital in the past two years, following its buy of Ubermind in January 2012.

I asked co-founder Dave Hanley why he wanted to sell at this juncture, and he had this to say:

“We sat down a year ago to map out where social media was heading, and saw the complexity and interconnectedness of social across the enterprise, and realized we either needed to start acquiring to build our breadth or look for an acquirer.  When Deloitte Digital showed us their comprehensive technical and strategic expertise and shared their vision for integrating social broadly, they immediately rose to the top of our list.  They were a clear outlier poised to do something none of the agencies are prepared to do.”

Dave Hanley
Dave Hanley

Banyan Branch employs 50 folks, most of whom are located in the company’s Pioneer Square offices. They will be staying put for the time being, even though Deloitte now has a large presence in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood as a result of the Ubermind deal.

“We plan to integrate our work from the get go, but will remain geographically separated by a few exits on the 99,” says Hanley.

The deal follows a wave of consolidation in the social media monitoring and analytics arena, including the acquisitions of Cymfony by Visible Technologies and Spring Creek Group by Mediabrands. In October 2011, Banyan Branch raised $1.7 million from former Qpass CEO Chase Franklin; Seattle angel investor Geoff Entress; KissMetrics founder Neil Patel; venture capitalist Bill Bryant and others.

Hanley added via email:

Banyan Branch has deep, multiyear relationships with Fortune 500 companies who trust us with their social strategy and execution day in, day out.  Deloitte has that kind of relationship in most other facets of the enterprise: from CRM to accounting to mobile app development.  Deloitte Digital had a Banyan-shaped hole in their offering, and we just filled it.

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