DMI buys UK app maker Golden Gekko | Brands | Mobile Entertainment

DMI buys UK app maker Golden Gekko

DMI buys UK app maker Golden Gekko
Tim Green


Brands / October 1st 2013 at 8:10AM

Another specialist mobile agency moves into the big league.

Are we seeing the emergence of a new breed of global 'super app agencies'?

It looks that way. Earlier this year Accenture bought Fjord, while just weeks ago Monitise moved for Grapple.

Both those deals were driven by the prodigious growth of the app (and mobile web) habit, and the rising demand of mainstream consumer brands to create a strategy for it.

That strategy began three of four years ago with "let's build an app".

Now, it now requires a more long term and considered approach – an approach that factors in global reach, payments capability, project management and so on.

This is what drove Golden Gekko into the arms of DMI – a US company that does some app development, but also works with giant enterprises and even government agencies on security, big data analytics, BYOD and lots more.

Magnus Jern, CEO of Golden Gekko, told ME: "When we started we were working with big companies like Unilever and Tesco and they would have two employees looking after their mobile activities. Now it can be 50, 100.

"The market has grown far faster than even our boldest projections, and mobile is so important to these clients now that they demand a certain level of service. They want international support, and the consistency that a big partner can provide."

Jern admitted that, without this acquisition, Golden Gekko would have had to slow down its growth for cash flow reasons.

As it is, the firm will now exist within a much bigger organisation that can give it access to the US market (GG currently has a small office in New York) and to clients outside of its consumer-facing heartland.

DMI, meanwhile, gets a solid European presence (GG has 160 employees, mostly in London) and an existing client base that includes Abercrombie & Fitch, Anheuser-Busch, Inbev, ESPN, Mango MNG, Unilever and Toyota.

Jay Sunny Bajaj, CEO of DMI, said: “We can give Golden Gekko a size and scale that can win much bigger contracts than before. And from our point of view, we're seeing buying decisions increasingly coming from marketing rather than CIOs.

"They're looking for mobile products that can build brand loyalty and provide a great user experience. Golden Gekko can really help us in this area."

Golden Gekko has developed more than 1,500 mobile sites and apps in the past five years, with more than 400 in the past year alone.

The firm will retain is name in the UK. It's planning to add over 50 new staff in the next 12 months across its London, New York and Cambodia offices.