W2O buys Austin-based digital agency VM Foundry

AUSTIN, TX: W2O Group has acquired Austin-based digital agency VM Foundry and combined it with its existing multi-office digital practice and local office in Austin to create W2O Digital.

AUSTIN, TX: W2O Group has acquired Austin-based digital agency VM Foundry and combined it with its existing multi-office digital practice and local office in Austin to create W2O Digital.

The firm specializes in web and mobile app development with a focus on data-driven insights and development of social and online media influencer products and services. VM Foundry has worked on state and national campaigns for companies such as Dell, Island Def Jam Music Group, MTV Asia, and Publishers Clearing House.

Now that the company has joined the W2O fold, holding company executives are shaping W2O Digital to become a think tank and learning center for its clients and staff focused on the core digital media disciplines, including analytics, search, and agile online content creation.

The company first got on the radar of W2O Group founder and CEO Jim Weiss after former Dell VP Bob Pearson, who is now W2O Group president, mentioned it.

After working with the digital agency as part of a strategic alliance for some time, and Weiss thought now was the time to make it a part of his company.

“Analytic dashboards are where we believe the world is going, and that was an organization principle of their firm,” Weiss said.

It was the previous relationship with Pearson that made VM interested in being purchased. “I've realized just how like-minded our two companies are,” VM CEO Jim Eustace said in a statement.

All of the company's 45 staffers will fold into W2O, bringing the holding company's total presence in Austin to 60, Weiss said. It wants to grow that number to more than 100 by 2014.

Eustace, along with Pearson, W2O CFO Tony Esposito, and MDs Dave Mihalovic and Jamie Peck, will form the leadership team for W2O Digital. The practice will work to accelerate the growth of the firm's products and services and build on its existing proprietary offerings.

The agency WCG restructured in March to form the W2O Group holding company, which oversees the firm along with the Twist and W2O Ventures units. Earlier this year, W2O Group purchased Ravel, an enterprise-grade analytics provider, which is also Austin-based.

This article was updated on December 12 to correct the name of W2O Group President Bob Pearson and with more information about WCG's restructuring that occurred in March.

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