Japanese advertising and public relations company, Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired a 51% stake in digital media firm, Sokrati Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Pune-based Sokrati is a digital media startup. It was founded in 2009 by Ashish Mehta, Anubhav Sonthalia, Santosh Gannavarapu, and Kaushik Paranjape. It is a data analytics and performance marketing and analytics company.
Sokrati currently has a team of 138 members. It offers integrated digital services, circling around advanced data analytics and CMR based marketing. This includes the integration of offline and hyperlocal marketing to its ecommerce client base.
Sokrati holds a reputation for delivering services in the mobile advertising and ecommerce domains. As per an official statement, the company claims to have a gross revenue of about $3.5 Mn (INR 225 Cr) for the year ended March 2017.
Dentsu is acquiring the stake with an option of making it a wholly-owned subsidiary in the future. Currently led by President & CEO, Toshihiro Yamamoto, Dentsu is headquartered in Tokyo. In June 2017, Dentsu Inc. reported that it had non-consolidated net sales worth $1.1 Bn (¥ 122,970 Mn).
In August 2016, Dentsu acquired a major stake in Merkle, a global data-driven, technology-enabled performance marketing agency. Merkle also claims to be the largest independent agency in the US for CRM, digital, and search.
With the acquisition of Sokrati, Dentsu will launch Merkle in key Indian markets. Post-acquisition, Sokrati will be rebranded as Merkle|Sokrati.
In April 2017, Dentsu acquired Smile Group-owned SVG Media Pvt. Ltd. It offers diverse digital media competencies including online performance marketing, mobile app distribution, representations, social and web services through its flagship brands. The group has one of the largest client bases in the Indian digital media sector with over 700 monthly active advertiser campaigns locally, as well as international clients in Dubai, Indonesia, and China.
With the acquisition of Sokrati, the number of the Group’s employees in India will reach 3,500. Out of these, over 40% will be digital professionals as per an official statement. Whether the Sokrati acquisition will help Dentsu establish a strong foothold in the Indian digital media market remains to be seen.