One Great Studio’s regional growth objectives
DIGITAL marketing agency One Great Studio (1GS) has set its sights on global and regional expansion by leveraging the global reach of its new subsidiary, United States-incorported High Voltage SEO (HVSEO), following the take-up of its initial public offer (IPO).
1GS announced its IPO, which will open next Monday, through a prospectus inviting the public to subscribe for 169,313,720 ordinary shares at $1.00. The company is seeking to raise $338.63 million and has also reserved 152,382,348 ordinary shares for key strategic partners, and 16,931,371 for its team members.
Proceeds from the capital raise, the company said, will be used to cover associated costs with the listing, reduce the debt owed to Barita Investments Limited, and to develop human capital and strategic growth initiatives.
The debt to which the prospectus refers is associated with the acquisition of HVSEO.
“So we did two things. We did a private equity loan, which was with friends and family in a room, essentially, and then the balance of that transaction was financed via a loan facility from Barita Investments Limited,” co-founder and CEO Djuvane Browne told Jamaica Observer recently.
“It’s basically a five-year facility. Only piece of it is convertible, and the balance is something that we’d have to clear off over time,” he further explained.
The acquisition saw 1GS, through its subsidiary High Voltage Digital LLC, obtaining from HVSEO its customer contracts, perpetual licences to use educational platform and SEO software, and standard operating procedures which are used to effectively carry out search engine optimisation activities. This acquisition has enhanced 1GS’s structure, business growth model, and tech-driven excellence.
Having completed the acquisition of HVSEO last September in a cash and equity transaction, the 1GS management team has spent almost a year integrating both operations and exploring synergies between the two, though maintaining both companies as separate operations. That integration process has included cross-selling the services of 1GS and HVSEO and the installation of new platforms across the two companies.
While integration continues, 1GS is exploring opportunities for global and regional growth, taking advantage of the global reach resident in the geographical diversity of the HVSEO staff complement and client base.
“The team is completely distributed across the globe. Their team is in the US, in the UK, in Montenegro, in Thailand, in India — they have people all over on that team,” Browne stated.
“And we have specific ways that we want to grow internationally as well. We’re looking into specific countries so we think we have a good base. We have a good base in Germany, we have a good base in Australia, and so we also want to look into some of those countries that don’t have as many agencies serving them, essentially. And so that’s kind of where we see a lot of growth coming from is through the combined sales and integration efforts,” he added.
As it relates to the Caribbean, 1GS has been serving clients across the region but believes there is still more room to grow. With a number financial services institutions in Jamaica on its roster, the company is hoping to leverage its expertise in the sector to woo similar clients in other jurisdictions.
“So in the last year we’ve gotten several clients in Cayman [and] we currently have clients in Belize, and we also have a client in Barbados,” Browne disclosed to Caribbean Business Report.
“So we’re looking on, you know, Trinidad, Guyana, Belize, Barbados, Cayman, and other English-speaking countries in the Caribbean. And also because, at the end of the day, right now we serve primarily, I would say, larger businesses — and there are different sizes of businesses in different countries and every country has insurance companies, companies which can be deemed as larger companies — what we want to do is to be seen as a company that can support these large companies,” he said.
Among 1GS’s clientele are Barita Investments Limited, Canopy, Ideal Finance and Guardian Group. Beyond the financial services sector the company also services entities in the tourism, agro-processing and manufacturing industries.
While noting that 1GS’s client base is not limited to any one or a few industries, Browne argued that the company’s expertise will become “translatable” across the Caribbean and the world.