In its aggressive push in Indian market, Advertising firm Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired Pune-based digital marketing agency Sokrati in estimated Rs 800 crore deal.
Post acquisition, the advertising firm will rebrand its search and customer relation marketing firm Merkle as Merkle Sokrati, which will further help to scale Dentsu Aegis India’a data and performance marketing solutions. This is Dentsu’s thirteenth acquisition in South Asia in last two years.
Confirming the deal, Ashish Bhasin, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO), South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network, said that the move will give them significant edge in marketplace.
Sokrati is among the leading players in search and performance marketing, an emerging area in digital advertising in the country. Sokrati is backed by IvyCap Ventures and Inventus Capital.
Other players in search and performance marketing in India include Interactive Avenues from IPG Mediabrands, and Resultrix Convonix from the Publicis Groupe.
At present, Sokrati employs 120 people, offering a marketing solution which includes data analytics, CRM based marketing and the integration of offline data and hyperlocal marketing. While raising funds from Inventus Partners in 2015, Sokrati claimed to have over 3000 clients.
Dentsu Aegis Network is a multinational media and digital marketing communications company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Japanese advertising and public relations firm Dentsu.
Its principal services are communications strategy through digital creative execution, media planning and buying, sports marketing and content creation, brand tracking and marketing analytics.
In India, the market for search and performance marketing is estimated at Rs 3000 crore and it expected to touch Rs 5000 crore next few years.