Zone secures £6m from BGF to fund “accelerated” growth

London-based digital marketing agency has worked with likes of Coca Cola and Tesco

London digital marketing agency Zone has raised £6m in equity finance from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) for a minority stake in the business.

Founded by James Freedman in 2000 following the sale of his Football Magazine to Future Publishing, Zone offers campaign management, website design, social media management and content creation for big name clients such as Coca-Cola, Barratt Homes, Tesco and BT.

Having worked on campaigns including Share a Coke and the Tesco Eat Happy iniative, the company has seen steady growth over the last five years and is estimating a turnover of £17m in 2015.

The investment will fund the company’s rapid growth, supporting a number of UK and European acquisitions. Jim Kelly, a founder of Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe, has been appointed as non-executive director after stepping down as Dentsu UK chairman in 2013.

CEO Freedman commented: “The UK’s digital sector is one of the country’s economic success stories. Working with marketing-leading clients who are as ambitious as us, we are helping drive that story.

“Zone is always committed to delivering a world-class digital service. In today’s fast-changing world that means always developing our capabilities. In the past we’ve made acquisitions through cash-flow. With this new investment we’ll be able to further build our offering.”

BGF senior investment manager, Mark Nunny, said: “We are excited to be backing James, Anna and the team at Zone, investing in an industry leading pure play digital marketing business with an unsurpassed reputation for delivering innovative digital campaigns for a range of blue chip customers.

“Zone combines content and technology expertise and what really sets it apart from other agencies is the ability to work strategically with marketing staff within companies to help them understand the new and dynamic challenge and opportunities that digital marketing presents to them. We look forward to working with the team to help them achieve their ambitions.”

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