Social Media Marketing Company Vanksen Raises $5 Million Series A

Posted May 26, 2010

Vanksen has raised $5 million in investment from private equity firm Quilvest group. Vanksen will use the funds for expansion, especially in the U.S. Quilvest Private Equity will take a minority share of the capital from the Management and Founders. Below is the full press release:

Social Media/Buzz Marketing Agency Vanksen Raises $5M in Round A Investment from Quilvest Private Equity

NEW YORK, May 26 /PRNewswire/ — Vanksen ( announced today a $5 million (4 million Euros) investment from private equity team Quilvest group ( The funds will be used primarily to fuel Vanksen’s expansion in digital communications and facilitate international expansion, especially in the United States. Within the framework of this deal, for which Vanksen was advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance, Quilvest Private Equity takes a minority share of the capital from the Management and Founders and is subscribing to convertible bonds to help finance the development of the agency.

Vanksen is a pure-play viral and buzz marketing communications agency. It is the European leader in the expanding market segment of social media marketing. Founded in 2005 as a 100% digital agency, Vanksen anticipated the emergence of social media marketing and buzz/viral marketing and positioned itself as a key player in the market, offering clients a unique 360 approach to their online and offline marketing needs.

Vanksen activates and optimizes the connection between leading brands and consumers through an innovative approach in the fields of 360-degree strategy definition, unanticipated creative, consumer activation and strategic media acquisition. This suite of services is reinforced by its international bloggers network, BuzzParadise ( ? 8,000+ bloggers in 12 countries, 45 million UV / month ? and enriched by a multifaceted research and training effort, keeping Vanksen’s clients ahead of the curve and leveraging the latest best practices in e-reputation and community management. Its executives are speakers at over 70 conferences a year worldwide and provide professional training to marketing and branding executives representing brands like L’Oreal, Nestle and The Body Shop.

Buttressed by 80+ employees representing 11 different nationalities, populating offices in Paris, New York, Geneva and Luxembourg, Vanksen shall focus on diversifying its client portfolio and investing in its proprietary technology platforms. A significant investment to further expedite its development in the United States is also planned. The two founders, Emmanuel Vivier and Xavier Lesueur, which lead the European team, anticipate aggressive recruitment:

“This fundraising confirms the success of an approach already recognized by important brands that have trusted us for over 5 years,” states Emmanuel Vivier, Chief Strategy Officer.

“Today, Vanksen is one of the last independent digital communications groups in an expanding market. The arrival of Quilvest Private Equity will of course enable us to strengthen our position in Europe, but it will also enable us to extend our innovative approach in key markets like the US,” adds Xavier Lesueur, Group CEO.

“We are very pleased to become partners with Vanksen in the renewing sector of communications,” says Nicolas de la Moriniere, Associate Director for Quilvest Private Equity. “We have full confidence in the capacity of the Vanksen team to expand their activity successfully.”

Thierry Daher, Co-Founder and CEO of Vanksen USA, concludes: “At a time when social media and viral marketing have become de rigeur in digital communications, the US market still represents an exceptional opportunity. In the last 3 years we established ourselves as one of the emerging leaders here, having already orchestrated groundbreaking campaigns for Disney, Land’s End and Coty. Fresh capital resources will springboard us to the next step in our strategy.”

About Vanksen

With over 80 employees in Paris, New York, Geneva and Luxembourg, Vanksen’s clients include leading global brands like ArcelorMittal, Audemars Piguet, Belambra, BIC, Bulgari, Caisse d’Epargne, Canal Plus, Citroen, Coca-Cola, Danone, Disney, ESCP Europe, Grand Optical, Guerlain, Heineken, Jean Paul Gaultier, Longines, L’Oreal, Louis Vuitton, Louvre Hotels, Nigloland, Passoa, Quiksilver, Salomon, SaraLee, SFR, Sony, The Body Shop…

Vanksen’s expertise include:

* Consulting & Strategy definition: audits and benchmarking, communication strategy (digital, social media, media or global).
* Creative: developing viral and 360-degree concepts.
* Production: digital, viral, print, film, video and event-driven campaigns.
* Media and activation: implementation of web 1.0 media plans (natural and sponsored brand visibility in search engines, online/offline ads, TV ads) and 2.0 media plans (strategy and management for Twitter and Facebook accounts, including PR2.0+ sponsored links and video seeding on the 8,000 blogs connected via
* Monitoring and analysis: monitoring, management and protection of brands’ e-reputation. Analysis of online conversations about key brands and optimization of the performance of ongoing campaigns and websites.
* Training: participation in over 70 conferences and seminars per year. Providing training per topic, target industry, marketing 2.0, buzz, viral marketing best practices.

With over 3000 published posts and 125,000 page views per month, the agency’s blog is the biggest word-of-mouth and 360-degree campaign blog in France. The blog analyzes the latest trends in social media, buzz, guerrilla, and viral marketing every week. It is available in English and in French.

About Quilvest Private Equity

Active in the field of capital investment since 1972, Quilvest Private Equity invests in firms with a turnover of 10 to 200 million Euros. There are close to 40 investors in the team, based in Paris, London and New York. They manage 2 Billion Euros in assets.

SOURCE Vanksen
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