adGeek acquires majority stake in CtrlShift's The Studio

Marketing solutions company adGeek has acquired a majority stake in CtrlShift’s managed services entity, The Studio. As part of the new joint venture, both parties will combine resources and expertise to meet the demands of clients across Asia Pacific.

Both companies will also continue to work collaboratively to support clients’ software and managed service needs. Syahar Khalid (pictured), MD of The Studio will now report to adGeek group founder and CEO Frank Chen. He will continue to be based in Kuala Lumpur.

Services provided by The Studio currently include programmatic advertising and audience-focused marketing solutions for a range of regional and global clients, including Nespresso, Boh Plantations, Siam Makro, SKY Cable and OPPO. With this joint venture, The Studio will now expand its offerings to include technology-based consumer engagement solutions ranging from data management platforms to chatbots.

It will also become a subscriber and licensee of The Hub, CtrlShift's core Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business and flagship enterprise programmatic advertising platform used by brands and agencies to facilitate efficient and transparent media buying at scale across multiple channels and buying ecosystems.

Present in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, The Studio was spun off from CtrlShift's SaaS business and established as an independent entity in July 2018. Headquartered in Taipei, adGeek helps brands to engage effectively with consumers using advanced marketing techniques and technology solutions.

AdGeek's Chen said both companies have a shared vision of what next-generation digital marketing can and should be for brands that need to navigate a fragmented and fickle consumer landscape.

“By partnering with The Studio, we have the scale to serve our clients across the region with best-in-class managed services and the ability to integrate and deliver marketing intelligence and automation platforms.” he added.

Meanwhile, Syahar said having adGeek as a partner and investor is "exhilarating". "With the expanded footprint and new capabilities, our clients will have immediate access to a 120-strong team of digital specialists and marketing technologists,” he said.

Reza Behnam, chairman and co-founder of CtrlShift, called the joint venture “a natural next step” for both companies. The divestment of The Studio and the associated change in leadership will enable CtrlShift to focus exclusively on The Hub.

“We remain committed to our mission of simplifying the digital media ecosystem through aggregation and automation, to make advertising truly ‘frictionless’ in this complex playing field. The synergies that The Studio and adGeek enjoy will be further enhanced with their continued use of The Hub to enable efficient, unified media buying," Reza said.