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Brandtech Group You & Mr Jones Acquires Majority Stake in Gravity Road

You & Mr Jones, the global Brandtech group, today announced the acquisition of a majority stake in leading UK creative company Gravity Road.

Gravity Road will be a content and innovation hub for You & Mr Jones in a deal that further enhances the Brandtech group's global capabilities. Gravity Road is a leader in content innovation, from shooting the world's first ad on Snapchat Spectacles through to a global social video duel featuring Kevin Hart and Usain Bolt that delivered over 360 million views.

As part of the move, Gravity Road will launch in the US to drive its international expansion and connect with the group's growing portfolio of technology investments, including Automat.ai, Here Be Dragons, Gfycat, Pinterest, Niantic (creator of Pokémon Go), Pixlee, theAmplify, MOFILM and mic.com.

Gravity Road launched in 2011 to bring together marketing, entertainment and technology to create new types of content that builds brands - it is still the only company to win a Film BAFTA for branded content - and counts companies such as Mondelez, Sainsbury's and Hutchison Whampoa as clients. Gravity Road grew revenues by +40% in 2017.

Founded by ex-Omnicom and BBH execs Mark Eaves and Mark Boyd, the company is at the forefront of creating and distributing next-generation content and was named the world's leading small independent by Ad Age in 2015.

The announcement follows the recent appointment of Sarah Ellis, the former head of marketing strategy at Sainsbury's, as managing director at Gravity Road.

This latest acquisition follows a period of prolific activity by You & Mr Jones. Since summer 2017, it has announced a $20 million investment in Pinterest, a follow-on investment in Niantic, the acquisition of a majority stake in leading premium mobile marketing specialist Mobkoi, and investments in AI-driven conversational leader Automat, AR/VR studio Here Be Dragons and the blockchain media technology company Amino Payments.

David Jones, Founder, You & Mr Jones, said: "We've now made 20 different technology investments and acquired four technology-enabled companies. This latest deal gives us a brilliant innovation and content engine for our technology ecosystem. We're hugely impressed by the team at Gravity Road and really excited about the future together, especially about launching them into the North American market."

Mark Eaves, Co-founder, Gravity Road, said: "Joining You & Mr Jones was an irresistible opportunity to scale internationally from within a fast-moving, entrepreneurial environment. Gravity Road becomes a creative innovation hub at the heart of a fantastic technology company. They have a very powerful group of AR, VR, AI, data and content companies and we're excited to work with them. It's an exciting move in a market that is rapidly transforming."

Mark Boyd, Co-founder of Gravity Road, said: "Since we launched, we've been true to our mission to shape a new creative company that brings together the best of marketing, entertainment and technology. With this deal our clients gain access to the brilliant tech toolkit to allow us to better shape our work, how we work and the effectiveness it has."

About Gravity Road:

Gravity Road is an independent creative company sitting at the crossroads of marketing, technology and entertainment. Having launched in 2011, Gravity Road was born from new mobile-first behavior, bringing together the insight-led approach of marketing communications with the best of the entertainment and publishing industry. Gravity Road's current client base includes Sainsbury's, Johnson & Johnson, Mondelez, Three, and PokerStars. Gravity Road has been awarded numerous creative accolades including a BAFTA, Cannes Lions, D&AD, Campaign Big and Marketing Effectiveness award, to name but a few. http://gravityroad.com

About You & Mr Jones:

You & Mr Jones is the world's first Brandtech group. Its mission is to help businesses build brands better, faster, and cheaper using technology.

It was founded in June 2015 by former Havas Global CEO and Facebook Client Council founding member David Jones. You & Mr Jones sits at the intersection of the dramatic growth in mobile, a tech revolution that has empowered people to create, produce and share unprecedented amounts of content, the impending revolution in AI, AR, and VR, and frustrated global companies looking for brand- and tech-literate partners.

Group clients include Airbnb, Netflix, Facebook, Accenture, Unilever, Google, Sony, Coca-Cola, Coty, Richemont, Emirates, Mastercard, Diageo, Danone, Samsung, AXA, Orange, Renault, Ferrero, Lacoste, BNP Paribas, Europcar, and Total.

You & Mr Jones is headquartered in New York and has offices in 12 cities including San Francisco, London, Bangalore, Sao Paulo, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Sydney, Mexico City, Cape Town, Hong Kong, and Paris. http://www.youandmrjones.com

Industry Announcements's article first appeared on OnlineVideo.net

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