Butchershop Acquires Maniak
Global Brand Experience Agency Signals Dedication to Digitization of Brand Through First Major Acquisition
Butchershop®, the global brand experience agency, has acquired Maniak™, a digital-first design and technology firm based in Guadalajara, Mexico. As a fast-growing independent agency established in 2009, the move marks Butchershop’s continued investment in the expansion of technology and digital-first experiences. Underscored by its most successful year to date in 2020 amidst the pandemic, Butchershop specializes in building brands in the new economy for clients in the B2B and B2C spaces across DTC and consumer products, health and wellness, hospitality, fintech, crypto/blockchain, data + AI, SaaS and cybersecurity. Past and current clients include Nike, Mountain Hardwear, BFA Industries, Okta, Databricks and Real Chemistry. By combining best of breed brand strategy, creative storytelling, brand experiences and digital thinking under one roof, Butchershop will bring greater value to client partners and client teams internationally.
The addition of the 52-person digital team at Maniak advances the level of technical sophistication at Butchershop in building enterprise ecommerce solutions, software builds, native applications, and unique digital brand expressions and experiences. Butchershop plans to grow Maniak to 100 employees and the team will continue to assist client partners in building white-labeled digital support teams to handle everything from helping founders develop and design beta products to scaling large enterprise platforms. In recent months, Maniak has provided this type of support as product design and development leaders for cryptocurrency platform Bittrex.
Founded over a decade ago by entrepreneur Christian Dominguez, joined shortly thereafter by his brother Carlos, Maniak has carved a digital-first path at every turn, evolving the company overtime with focus points in hardware, SaaS, digital media and marketing, serving markets in the US, Europe and Latin America. As part of Butchershop, Maniak will operate under the helm of Hector Garcia, who will transition from CEO of Maniak to Chief Innovation Officer.
Christian and Carlos will operate and lead a new joint venture created by the acquisition: ImaginedBy®, a smart incubator with the sole purpose of creating new digital-based products and platforms inside the company’s braintrust and with outside venture backed founders. Leveraging the combined brand, business and product acumen of Butchershop and the technological capabilities of Maniak, several ImaginedBy® funded projects are currently underway, including Priio®, a self-service SaaS platform that helps teams with prioritization, strategies, clarity and risk mitigation, launching in Spring 2021.
The acquisition of Maniak formalizes a longstanding working relationship between the two agencies. As part of Butchershop’s extended partnership network, the US-, Europe- and Mexico-based teams are adept at decentralized collaboration. Most recently, the Maniak team has helped Butchershop win several innovative digital brand experience projects with companies like Exabeam, Snappy, BFA, ShapeTX, Voyo Adventures, and Okta.
With their first major acquisition, Butchershop is better positioned for strategic and sustainable growth. The agency has increased its global footprint and resources to include an office in Graz, Austria to better serve evolving and emerging client needs in Europe, with an emphasis on the DACH market, growing it’s headcount by 19% in the last 3 months. With the acquisition of Maniak, combined billables on project-based work is tracking toward $20m revenue in 2021, absent retainers or AOR contracts padding client billables. The diversity in client partner verticals, industries, and profiles has helped the agency maximize value and ultimately be more sustainable long term, adapting to market swings and shifts in real time.
Recently, Butchershop announced its first Associate Partners program, strengthening its leadership positions as additional acquisitions are very likely over the next three years. The agency is also working toward greater parity in diversity, equity and inclusion and has launched programs like Equity for Equality (E2) which raises funds for arts, education, STEM, environmental justice and entrepreneurialism in the Black community with over $80k raised and dispersed to date; a remote edition of World’s Greatest Internship and the launch of the WGI Talent Network, a talent recruitment platform that other agencies around the world are using to hire talent, ushering in a much wider, more diverse applicant pool from over 30 countries; and a commitment of quarterly pro bono work for partners including Black Artists + Designers Guild (BADG) and Black Girls Code.