Marketing firm in Rogers merges with Seattle company

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,162 views 

Acorn Influence, an influencer marketing agency in Rogers, has merged with Seattle-based digital marketer New Engen.

According to a Tuesday (Jan. 18) news release, the deal is expected to speed up the expansion of digital marketing capabilities for both agencies and their global client bases.

As a result of the merger, Acorn Influence CEO Myra Dallas joins New Engen’s board of directors.

“We are extremely excited to join forces with the New Engen team, which has a great track record of providing exceptional client and employee satisfaction,” Dallas said in a statement. “Our high-quality content and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) retail knowledge base, combined with New Engen’s deep media and eCommerce expertise is a powerful combination to meet the demands of the increasingly performance-oriented shopper marketer.”

New Engen has 186 employees; Acorn Influence approximately 50.

Acorn uses product placements and endorsements from social media creators to drive growth for its clients. The agency is a portfolio company of NewRoad Capital Partners of Rogers, one of Arkansas’ most prominent private equity firms. NewRoad launched the business in 2014 in a 50-50 venture with Stephanie Funk. New Road completed a buyout of Funk’s equity in January 2017.

NewRoad will continue to be an investor in the combined business with New Engen, and Acorn will continue to have an office in Rogers.

“Acorn’s influencer network, best-in-class technology, and ability to produce breakthrough content make them a perfect fit for our vision to become a global leader in accountable marketing services,” New Engen CEO Justin Hayashi said. “As performance and influencer marketing increasingly merge, there is a massive potential for our combined expertise across content development, digital media, technology, and analytics to accelerate growth for our clients. We’re thrilled to work together to create a new standard for accountability, transparency, and performance.”

According to the release, investments in influencer marketing reached $13.8 billion in 2021 and have more than doubled since 2019. Digital media investment reached $491.7 billion in 2021.

The merger announcement comes on the heels of a significant equity investment by Insignia Capital Group in New Engen in December 2021.