KKR said March 20 that it is combining four Chinese digital media companies to form Cue & Co. Financial terms weren’t announced. Cue & Co, of China, is a digital marketing company.
BEIJING & SHANGHAI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Global investment firm KKR today announced the launch of Cue & Co., the first one-stop digital marketing company for the Chinese market.
KKR’s investment will bring together four highly complementary industry leaders – Qi-xin, AnG, WIN, and Wina Tech – to create a multi-brand company with wide-ranging capabilities.
• Qi-xin is a leading digital ad agency, which focuses on providing full-stop media solutions including search engine optimization, APP distribution, feed ad, and other services. To learn more, click here.
• AnG is a leading digital marketing company, focusing on precision targeting and marketing efficiency improvement utilizing big data technology. To learn more, click here.
• WIN is a leading brand management company with deep experience serving leading life-style, luxury, consumer goods, and beauty brands clients across China. To learn more, click here.
• Wina Tech is a market leading SSP and No.1 commercial WiFi traffic operator in China that provides data collection and big data analytics to deliver a unique marketing network. To learn more, click here.
Through this partnership, each company will be better positioned to serve new and existing clients with increased benefits of scale, greater technological resources, and new and integrated capabilities that will be developed over time. While retaining their unique brands, the four firms will immediately begin collaborating to offer a full range of digital marketing solutions to their clients, which includes leading consumer brands, financial institutions, gaming companies and internet service providers.
Increasing online accessibility and consumption growth in China is changing how businesses interact with consumers. These trends have driven the marketing industry towards more interactive, visual, data-driven content and performance-based advertising, however, China’s fragmented digital marketing industry still lags behind the country’s rapid digital growth and transformation in consumer habits. By gathering data across its services, the Company will measure the performance of campaigns and provide actionable insights and solutions to clients.
Sky Shi, CEO of Cue & Co. and founder of AnG, said, “We’re confident that by uniting these four leading companies while also leveraging KKR’s expertise across industries, we will form an unmatched partnership with exceptional resources, technology and media expertise, which will enable us to better support clients in China’s rapidly evolving digital marketing industry. At the same time, we expect that bringing together these teams will achieve efficiencies and new potential for collaborations with the combined resources we will have to deploy.”
Paul Yang, KKR Member and Head of Greater China, commented, “We are strong believers in the digital transformation taking place in China. Internet and mobile consumption is rising steadily and ad spending in China continues to shift toward digital formats at an unprecedented speed. We are excited to partner with a group of talented entrepreneurs and businesses with sound underlying technology to create a fully integrated and leading player in digital marketing that brings greater solutions to clients across the country during this exciting time for the industry.”
Qi-xin founder Yang Yang, WIN founder Jia Ouyang, and Wina founder Victor Shao added, “KKR’s strategic vision complements our own. Their investment brings benefits not only in terms of fresh capital but also operational expertise, as well as their global network of partners in technology and consumer businesses. There is a significant opportunity to create an industry leader in digital marketing and our partnership will be uniquely positioned to capitalize on favorable industry trends, deepen existing client relationships, and serve new clients as we further develop synergies across all four businesses.”
KKR has been investing in China through its pan-regional private equity funds since 2007, deploying more than US$3.3 billion to support leading companies and entrepreneurs in Greater China through its private equity platform. As the Chinese economy undergoes significant transformation, the country continues to play an important role in KKR’s Asia Pacific strategy and this investment to create a digital marketing player is a natural extension of KKR’s long track record investing in technology and consumer businesses.
KKR makes the investment from its US$9.3 billion Asian Fund III. The terms of the investment were not disclosed.
KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic manager partnerships that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.
About Cue & Co.
Cue & Co. is a leading one-stop digital marketing company in China formed by a partnership of four complementary industry leaders with global investment firm KKR. Cue’s founding members include Qi-xin, a leading digital ad agency; AnG, a leading digital marketing agency; WIN, a leading brand management company; and Wina Tech, a leading SSP and commercial WiFi operator. Combined, these four businesses give Cue a differentiated approach to digital marketing in China with increased scale, greater technological resources and new integrated capabilities to deliver for customers a full suite of digital marketing solutions. Cue clients include leading consumer brands, financial institutions, online game companies and internet service providers.