COLUMBUS, OH: Geben Communication has acquired Women Online, a content and influencer marketing agency that specializes in social impact and nonprofit clients.
The seven-figure deal came about rather unconventionally, with Geben CEO Heather Whaling meeting Women Online founder Morra Aarons-Mele on the TheLi.st, a digital community meant to connect women for business opportunities.
"This is not the norm, but it worked for us," Whaling said, adding that the deal came together in less than three months and was completed without involving a broker or venture capital or private equity firm.
The acquisition puts Geben on track to grow into a $4 million business this year. Since 2017, the firm has grown 66%, according to Whaling.
The addition of Women Online adds social impact to the range of Geben's clients, which span industries including healthcare, technology, B2B and consumer services.
Through the deal, Geben is also acquiring The Mission List, Women Online's influencer network.
"For us, it's an investment in both expertise and relationships," Whaling said. "Our existing clients will benefit from Women Online's content and influencer marketing skills, and Women Online's clients will have access to Geben's full range of PR, social media and digital services."
Aarons-Mele will join Geben's leadership team as EVP and will lead the development of a national social impact practice. No redundancies are planned.
"We know that clients are looking for other ways to partner with influencers, and we have for-profit clients who have foundations and are looking at how they can be a better corporate citizen," Whaling said.