Marketing tech platform Wondrlab eyes 21 acquisitions over 3 years

  • The most recent addition to the Wondrlab portfolio is WebTalk, a Polish B2C digital marketing agency, acquired in January 2024. This acquisition highlights Wondrlab’s commitment to not only enhancing its service offerings but also expanding its geographic footprint.

Gaurav Laghate
First Published11 Jul 2024, 07:00 AM IST
Saurabh Varma, founder and CEO, Wondrlab
Saurabh Varma, founder and CEO, Wondrlab(Company)

Mumbai: Saurabh Varma, the former CEO of Publicis Communications South Asia, is on a mission to transform Wondrlab into a global communications powerhouse with Indian roots. Since its inception during the peak of the pandemic in November 2020, Wondrlab has rapidly expanded, boasting over 550 employees across India and Poland and making significant strides with four acquisitions. Varma’s vision includes an aggressive expansion strategy with plans for 21 more acquisitions in the next three years.

“We have identified gaps in our portfolio that we want to quickly fill by acquiring the right companies. We are currently evaluating close to 40 companies, and some are close to conversions,” Varma told Mint. “We are only talking to founders who buy into our vision.”

Founded by Varma, along with Vandana Varma and Rakesh Hinduja, Wondrlab was established with a distinctive aim. "Unlike traditional networks, our focus is on integrating products and platforms with digital business transformation (DBT) for a global client base," Varma explained. This approach has already led to the acquisition of several companies, including What's Your Problem (WYP), a digital-first creative agency, and Opportune, a data-driven influencer marketing platform, among others.

Read more: MSMEs bet on creator economy ditching traditional forms of marketing

The most recent addition to the Wondrlab portfolio is WebTalk, a Polish B2C digital marketing agency, acquired in January 2024. This acquisition highlights Wondrlab’s commitment to not only enhancing its service offerings but also expanding its geographic footprint, with future hubs planned in Vietnam, the US, and West Asia.

“Acquisitions and inorganic growth are part of our core strategy. We have a dedicated M&A team, which is quite rare in our segment. We're not just building an agency; we're building a network," Varma said. "This has been our ambition from the start. The blueprint is simple: either you acquire or you get acquired. We’ve chosen to be the acquirer. Strategically, we're fully digital and avoid legacy structures. We focus on platforms like DVCC (digital video content and community), digital media and data, digital business, and martech/ad tech. These areas allow us to be a digital-first company.”

Read more: Advertising brings a new revenue stream to quick commerce companies

This network-centric approach is complemented by a strong emphasis on digital-first platforms and avoiding legacy structures.

Wondrlab has also heavily invested in technology, particularly in areas where digital media intersects with business data and martech (marketing technology). A prime example is their platform Hector, initially developed for Amazon and now expanding to other platforms like Flipkart. "Hector has been a game-changer in how brands optimise their spends across platforms, providing a strategic edge in digital marketing," Varma said.

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology plays a central role in Wondrlab's strategy, particularly in enhancing client services and operational efficiencies. "AI is central to our strategy, especially in creating efficiencies and enhancing client services," Varma stated. “This integration of AI allows us to advise clients on optimal actions without them having to sift through data manually.”

To date, Wondrlab has raised over $13 million for acquisitions and product development and will continue to raise more funds to support its growth. Varma remains optimistic about the future, with a clear focus on building a tech-driven, globally-integrated marketing network that leverages both service and product innovations to meet evolving client needs.

Read more: FMCG firms will strategically boost ad spends as demand stabilizes

“We've been fortunate to have large clients who believe in our vision, enabling us to invest boldly in product development while maintaining cash-positive operations. It's an exciting time for us, and we're eager to see where our technology and strategies will take us next,” he said.

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First Published:11 Jul 2024, 07:00 AM IST
HomeIndustryAdvertisingMarketing tech platform Wondrlab eyes 21 acquisitions over 3 years

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