IVFA, Zodius Capital-backed Group FMG acquires New York-based Pod1

Group FMG, a marketing and media solutions firm, has acquired New York-based Pod1, Inc, a creative digital agency with focus on e-commerce. However, details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Backed by the private equity major India Value Fund Advisors and former WNS Global CEO and co-founder Neeraj Bhargava’s Zodius Capital, Group FMG is acquiring and building a global network of marketing solutions companies.

The deal will help Group FMG’s portfolio of creative design, production (content and graphics) and commerce enablement offerings. “With Pod1’s impressive experience, client base and leadership, Group FMG is now poised to benefit from the rapidly growing e-commerce marketplace,” a company statement said.

Group FMG’s key clients include American Media Inc., Sears, Staples, Pepsi, Boots, Harrods, Boden, Disney, Reader’s Digest, Penguin, Harper Collins, BBC, Haymarket, IBM, Yahoo, Microsoft, Sony and Sandals.

Set up in 2001, Pod1 specialises in website designing and development for e-commerce firms in luxury and fashion space. Its clients include TAG Heuer, The Limited, Stuart Weitzman, Salvatore Ferragamo, Nanette Lepore, Net-a-Porter, Lord & Taylor, Uniqlo, Kenneth Cole, Matthew Williamson and LK Bennett. Pod1’s CEO & co-founder Fadi Shuman will continue to work with Group FMG. With the acquisition of Pod1, Group FMG’s global headcount rose to over 300 across its offices in New York, London, Bangalore and Chennai.

In April this year, Group FMG launched a portal called Cleargain.com to help small businesses build, market and grow their digital presence through website creation, custom marketing campaigns, social communities and e-commerce presence.

“With Pod1 now an integral part of Group FMG, we are even closer to establishing our voice as a global leader of the 3Cs – content, commerce and creative services,” said Dilip Keshu, global CEO of the company.

“We are excited to join a company with such a strong, strategic focus on brand solutions. Our combined expertise will give clients an incredible range of skills and experience essential for achieving success in the current digital marketplace,” said Shuman.

Group FMG was formed after integrating two companies – FMG and Whitefield Analytics. In March 2011, India Value Fund acquired a controlling stake in FMG, a pre-media business, for about $20 million.


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