LaunchSquad: Agency Business Report 2014

LaunchSquad continued its expansion into content creation in 2013, which is now a "huge" part of the business, says cofounder and partner Jason Mandell.

Principal: Jason Mandell, cofounder and partner
Ownership: Independent
Offices: San Francisco, New York, Boston, and Detroit
Revenue: $11,341,707
Headcount: 96

LaunchSquad continued its expansion into content creation in 2013, which is now a "huge" part of the business, says cofounder and partner Jason Mandell.

The agency’s Original9 content marketing group and video production group comprised about 15% of revenue last year. LaunchSquad’s content clients include The New York Times and Cornerstone OnDemand. Mandell anticipates revenue from this group will double in 2014.

"We are enabling clients to become media companies and content publishers," he says.

Leveraging creative content
LaunchSquad has 20 staffers now working in creative and content services, such as video and design, which accounts for about 20% of its overall workforce.

"We are really pushing hard at innovating the way we serve our clients and moving more toward audience engagement, content marketing, and the distribution of content," adds Mandell.

Overall, the firm experienced revenue growth of 20.8%, with 90% coming from new business. Profit margin was 11.2%.

The nature of working with startups and emerging businesses means the agency adds three to four new accounts a month, but it also regularly loses clients, as a result of mergers and acquisitions.

So far this year, the firm has won 12 new clients, including being named AOR for Jasper Wireless, Yesware, and ClearStory Data. It also started working with Facebook, but was unable to further reveal details on the nature of the work.

Client losses last year included Evernote, EVault, and Wine.com. San Francisco’s healthy business climate continues to buoy LaunchSquad, which has two thirds of its business in the city.

Mandell says the agency also has an eye on the Russian tech market, where it has a handful of clients and a similar access to capital exists. 

Recruiting talent remains the firm’s biggest challenge. Last year, it received 11,000 resumes and recruited 34 new staffers.

"We’re very selective," adds Mandell. "We would rather grow slowly and only take the right people than hiring the wrong ones." 

Jen Holmes was promoted last year to VP in Boston. New York VP Dana Zemack departed. LaunchSquad also opened a Detroit office last year, where it hopes to access different pools of talent.

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