Zone receives £6m Business Growth Fund boost

Digital marketing agency counts Coca-Cola and Tesco among clients.

London-based digital marketing company Zone has been awarded £6 million of equity finance by the Business Growth Fund (BGF).

The deal will see the BGF take a minority stake in the company, which employs 180 people across its offices in London, Bristol, Berlin and Kohl.

Zone already has the money earmarked for a number of European acquisitions of its own and to prepare for a period of “significant expansion”.

Following its launch in 2000 business founder and CEO James Freedman has secured a number of big contracts – including Coca-Cola, BT and Tesco.

The company provides campaign management, CRM and content creation for blogs and videos – its predicted turnover for 2015 is £17 million.

This is the latest investment from the BGF into the UK technology and media sectors. Recent companies it has aided with funding include The Exchange Lab and Unruly Media.

>See also: Shazam joins $1b start-up club’ with $30m investment

As part of this deal serial entrepreneur Jim Kelly has been appointed to the Zone board as a non-executive director. Kelly’s latest business interest is Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe.

Freedman hailed the UK digital sector as one the country’s economic success stories and claimed Zone is “helping drive that story”.

“Zone is always committed to delivering a world-class digital service,” he said. “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.”

Another addition to the Zone board will be BGF senior investment manager Mark Nunny. He praised the business for its “unsurpassed reputation for delivering innovative digital campaigns for a range of blue chip customers”.

“Zone combines content and technology expertise,” he added. “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.”

Further reading on digital: Former Tesco CEO Terry Leahy leads WorkAngel investment


Hywel Roberts

Hywel was editor of Growth Business in 2015 and then moved on to be deputy editor at Works Management.

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Early Stage Funding