Hotwire joins forces with IF Communications to expand into US market

Hotwire has launched a US operation after recruiting the entire team of tech and digital agency IF Communications.

US venture: Brendon Craigie, Isabel Fox and Kristin Syltevik
US venture: Brendon Craigie, Isabel Fox and Kristin Syltevik
Hotwire has appointed IF founder Isabel Fox as CEO of its newly launched US business. Fox is joined by Kelley Joyce, formerly CEO of IF, who will act as MD of Hotwire US. IF has offices in both the UK and US. Seven staff will transfer from IF to the Hotwire brand in the US.

IF's UK-based staff will also join Hotwire in the UK, under Brendon Craigie, group CEO.

Craigie told PRWeek: 'We have made our name as an agency on a local level in different countries, then at a regional level. This is a massive opportunity to shake up the US market.'

Hotwire US will operate from San Francisco and New York and will start with IF's 35 clients already on the books.

Craigie hopes that the US operation will grow to 20 people by the end of the financial year and that US growth will enable Hotwire to double in size over the next five years.

He added: 'The original inspiration behind Hotwire was to be able to provide US companies with the capability to reach all of the major European markets. Ten years on, we can now offer that service in both directions.'

Fox said IF had grown US fee income to US$750k-$1m in the past 12 months.

She added that the move had been driven by client demand: 'Big global tech and mobile companies are looking for agencies that can work with them both within and outside the US. There is much more demand for that one-stop-shop model again.'

IF's clients are predominately in the tech and mobile comms space, including Silicon Valley Bank, Intel Capital, InMobi and Octopus.

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