The Daily Telegraph

Social media agency founded by Dragons’ Den star sold for £8m

- By James Warrington

A SOCIAL media agency founded by Dragons’ Den star Steven Bartlett has been sold to a rival in a deal worth at least £7.7m.

Manchester-based Social Chain, which offers social media and influencer marketing services to clients, has agreed a takeover by larger rival Brave Bison. Mr Bartlett, who is a Dragon on the BBC show and hosts the hit podcast Diary of a CEO, helped to found Social Chain in 2014.

The company works with major brands including Amazon, Tiktok, KFC and Apple Beats, helping to create social media marketing campaigns.

It has 122 staff, with offices in London, New York and Manchester.

Mr Bartlett, who stepped down from Social Chain in 2020 and no longer has shares in the company, said: “Social Chain was my first big success in business. It’s great to see two young entreprene­urial brothers [Oliver and Theo Green] building Brave Bison with the same energy Social Chain brings to the table. They should be a great fit.”

Brave Bison, which is listed on London’s junior market, Aim, operates more than 650 channels on social media sites, including PGA Tour and the US Open. It also creates digital marketing campaigns for brands such as Panasonic, New Balance, Primark, Vodafone and Curry’s.

The firm, which is led by brothers Oliver and Theo Green, acquired Social Chain from its German parent company. The deal consists of an initial payment of £7.7m, with a further instalment of up to £9.5m over three years dependent on performanc­e.

Brave Bison said it expects the takeover to increase its revenues from social media advertisin­g sevenfold to £15m.

The deal is Brave Bison’s fourth acquisitio­n to date following its takeover of e-commerce firm Best Response Media last year and previous deals for social media firms Greenlight and The Hook. Oliver Green, chairman of Brave Bison, said: “We’ve long admired Social Chain, which we believe is among the world’s best regarded social media and influencer marketing brands, and we’re excited by the highly relevant clients it brings into our business.

“Social Chain has huge potential for growth within Brave Bison, taking the momentum Pete [Metcalfe, chief executive] and the team have built up using Steven Bartlett’s platform.

“We’re delighted to be taking this big step forward as we continue to build a media, marketing and technology company for the new era.”

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