Havas Group has announced the acquisition of Inviqa, one of the UK’s leading independent digital experience agencies, in a substantial, eight-figure deal. The company, which comprises more than 150 employees across eight offices, will be integrated into Havas Creative’s dedicated customer experience network, Havas CX, to significantly expand its specialism, scale, and capabilities in experience design, software engineering, technology consulting, and ecommerce.
As part of Havas CX, Inviqa will merge with Havas’ existing UK-based digital experience agency, ekino London. The combined company, which will be headquartered out of Havas’ UK Village in London’s King’s Cross, will retain the Inviqa brand and be led by Inviqa founder and CEO Yair Spitzer. ekino will continue to operate as a standalone brand within Havas CX in non-UK markets including France, New York and Singapore.
“Over a number of years, our acquisition strategy has focussed on cutting-edge, best-in-class agencies within the digital customer experience space – and Inviqa certainly fits that bill,” said Yannick Bolloré, chairman and CEO of Havas Group. “As the world begins to transition out of the pandemic, customer experience continues to represent one of our biggest growth opportunities – as demonstrated by the success of the Havas CX network, which has grown by two-thirds since its launch in 2020. Inviqa will help us unlock even more cross-discipline opportunities, and I’m excited to welcome Yair and the team to the Havas family.”
Inviqa will complete a triumvirate of scaled, specialist CX agencies in the UK, with its digital experience prowess complementing digital and business transformation consultancy Gate One (which was acquired in 2019 and posted 75% growth in 2021) and customer engagement agency Havas CX helia (which increased both revenue and headcount by more than 20% in 2021).
The multi-award-wining agency crafts digital products and platforms that help organisations meet their customer needs and accelerate their business growth. Embedded within client teams, Inviqa’s consultants, designers, and developers are focused on helping organisations achieve the best possible business and customer outcomes – using principled product thinking, modern delivery methods, and scalable platforms and architectures.
Inviqa’s UK clients include Tesco, Reiss, Phoenix Healthcare, and Arsenal FC – and its German portfolio includes the likes of METRO, Teufel, and toom Baumarkt. Its partners comprise best-in-class technology providers including Acquia, Akeneo, Spryker, BigCommerce, Adobe Commerce Cloud, and commercetools.
“The opportunity to substantially scale our experience design, technology and ecommerce capabilities in one of our key CX hubs was too good to turn down,” explained Chris Hirst, global CEO, Havas Creative. “With the addition of Inviqa, we now boast three market-leading CX agencies, spanning consultancy and brand strategy, experience design and customer engagement, that can go toe-to-toe with anyone. Their experience and approach will also help unlock conversations with brand CTOs and CIOs as well as CMOs, presenting significant opportunities to cross-sell and for increased integration.”
Yair Spitzer, co-founder and CEO of Inviqa, added: “We’re truly delighted to join the Havas family. The move follows a very rigorous process to find the right strategic partner to support our goals, expand our reach, and deliver even more value to our clients and their customers. We received several interesting offers, but were impressed above all by the quality of Havas’ people, its entrepreneurial spirit, and the synergy across the group’s ‘Village’ model.
With its emphasis on making a meaningful difference to brands, businesses, and people, Havas’ mission is closely aligned with our focus on inclusive and purposeful digital products that drive the best customer and business outcomes. We’re really excited to bring together our deep expertise in digital experience and to collaborate with specialists across other complementary disciplines.”
Founded by Spitzer and Paul Wander in 2007, Inviqa has since expanded into eight locations in the UK and Central Europe, including Germany. The majority of its staff, based at its London HQ, will move into Havas’ King’s Cross Village. Its locations in other parts of the UK, including Leeds and Liverpool, will remain the same. European offices, such as those in Berlin and Munich, will collaborate with local Havas Creative agencies.
Havas CX was launched in October 2020 to deliver meaningful customer experiences across the entire customer journey. It now comprises almost 2000 people from more than 20 of Havas Creative’s global agency groups and local agencies, plus additional CX specialists from across the Havas network, under a common structure, governance, methodology and mission. It spans 26 major Havas Villages around the world, with key hubs in London, Paris, New York and Mumbai.