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Havas CX expands with Inviqa, Kin+Carta buys in Bulgaria

What has”customer experience” ever done for us? A couple of weeks ago we questioned this booming sector of the ad business, wondering if the growing involvement of agencies had really helped us navigate the by-now-dreaded customer journey.

Havas CX is one of the biggest agency operators and it’s just bought Inviqa which has more than 150 employees in eight offices. Inviqa offers experience design, software engineering, technology consulting. and ecommerce. It will be integrated into Havas CX with existing such agency Ekino, while keeping its brand name.

Havas Group CEO Yannick Bolloré says: “As the world begins to transition out of the pandemic, customer experience continues to represent one of our biggest growth opportunities – as demonstrated by the success of the Havas CX network, which has grown by two-thirds since its launch in 2020.

“Inviqa will help us unlock even more cross-discipline opportunities, and I’m excited to welcome Yair Spitzer (Inviqa founder) and the team to the Havas family.”

The Havas family is now wholly-owned by the Bolloré clan, currently sitting on about $7bn of shares in Universal Music which it floated last year. Paterfamilias Vincent, recently quizzed by a French inquiry into media plurality, could buy pretty much anything he wants for the Havas branch of the empire should he so desire.

At the same time Kin + Carta, described as a “global digital transformation consultancy,” is buying Bulgarian software development company Melon Group and its subsidiaries, including Melon Technologies and Frakton LLC. This comes shortly after Kin + Carta purchased the remaining 50% in Loop, a Chicago-based e-commerce consultancy.

Kin + Carta CEO J Schwan says: “The acquisitions of Melon Group and Loop mark a significant move in our ambition to scale globally and accelerate our growth. Identifying, acquiring and integrating brilliant new businesses into Kin + Carta broadens our reach and creates opportunities to learn from experts in their craft.

“In addition, expanding our nearshore production capabilities allow us to serve more clients, creating new jobs both onshore and nearshore.”

K+C now employs around 1,700 strategists, engineers, and creatives around the world.

Such companies seem to have well and truly stolen a march of traditional agencies and their holding company owners as clients’ appetite for “business transformation” (ie more digital) seems limitless. Next 15, in the process of buying Engine UK, is another such.

They may prove a better home for trophy assets like creative agencies as their main business seems increasingly based in low cost locations like India and, in K+C’s current case, Bulgaria.

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