You & Mr Jones completed a $260 million Series B round on Tuesday coming on the heels of an impressive 2020 during which clients tapped into its strengths in digital and ecommerce.
The company grew organically by more than 27%, while traditional agencies struggled their way through the pandemic.
“We’ve just been through a year where an avalanche of major global companies have said, ‘Okay, we’ve been talking about digital transformation – now we need to actually do more in digital and ecommerce,” said David Jones, CEO and founder of You & Mr Jones. “And we’ve seen an enormous influx of business because of it.”
In contrast, legacy holdcos saw average organic growth of -9% last year, not counting Q4 numbers which haven’t yet been released.
The reason for that dichotomy is relatively simple.
“Everything we do is digital and tech," Jones said.
You & Mr Jones is profitable, with more than $300 million in the bank post-Series B. The seven startups in its portfolio, which include data company 55, filmmaking community MOFILM, in-housing specialist Oliver and influencer marketing platform Collectively, are also profitable.
“Big disruptions rarely create new change, but they do accelerate existing change, and we saw that last year,” said Jones, pointing to growth across the board for digital technology companies, from Amazon and Zoom to players in the marketing world, including The Trade Desk and S4 Capital.
With the completion of its series B, You & Mr Jones has a valuation of $1.36 billion.
You & Mr Jones was in the midst of raising when the pandemic struck, and it felt like the better part of valor to pause in May before closing the round. The addition of a $60 million investment from UK firm Meridian Chrysalis sealed the deal and brought the round’s total to $260 million. You & Mr Jones has raised $610 million since it was founded in 2015.
Most of the new money is earmarked for growth, including building out You & Mr Jones’s own technology platforms and scaling its global operation beyond the US and Europe into APAC and Latin America.
Jones has his eye on building additional assets related to data and media and on growing the influencer business within You & Mr Jones, which it already bolstered in August with the acquisition of Collectively, an influencer marketing firm that it merged with influencer marketing platform theAmplify. You & Mr Jones acquired theAmplify in 2016.
On the investment side, Jones is "very specifically" on the hunt for businesses led by diverse founders, such as Blacktag, an online platform for Black content and creators set to launch this year with backing from You & Mr Jones.
In addition to its funding, You & Mr Jones is in the midst of a hiring tear. It's brought on former NBA HR executive Paulette Forte as its first chief people officer and has more than 300 open positions.
None of the Series B will go towards the planned hiring spree, which will be fully covered by the P&Ls of the companies within the You & Mr Jones portfolio. You & Mr Jones’s current headcount stands at roughly 3,000.