Dentsu’s iProspect Buys its Way into DTC; Lean Lunch Funding on Crowdcube

iProspect buys MuteSix

DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news from the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer brands. In today’s edition: Dentsu’s iProspect buys its way into DTC; Lean Lunch funding on Crowdcube; Le Tote to buy Lord & Taylor.

Dentsu’s iProspect buys its way into DTC

Dentsu-owned performance agency iProspect has announced it has acquired independent performance agency MuteSix, which does creative production and performance marketing for direct-to-consumer brands, including Theragun, Burst Oral Care and Grunt Style.

MuteSix will operate as a separate brand because it doesn’t expect much overlap between clients, iProspect US CEO Jeremy Cornfeldt told AdExchanger. While iProspect is set up to work with large enterprises, MuteSix caters to small and midsize brands that are growing quickly but aren’t large enough yet to work with iProspect, which employs more than 800 people in the United States.

Acquiring MuteSix extends iProspect’s client base to the fast-growing DTC category, where brands are spending aggressively online and quickly expanding into offline channels but rarely work with large agencies. While iProspect will be opportunistic about picking up clients that have outgrown MuteSix, it still sees a lot of opportunity in smaller DTC brands. 

“If they tap out on digital and need to start expanding, they can immediately plug into iProspect and the larger [Dentsu Aegis] Network,” Cornfeldt said. “Some brands don’t have to have tremendous market share to scale into other channels.”

Lean Lunch funding on Crowdcube

Lean Lunch, an online food delivery business that “aims to improve wellbeing for people and the planet”, is funding on Crowdcube, and has already overfunded, raising £131,000 on an initial £120,000 target. The business delivers its meals to companies and city workers. 

The British food-to-go market is worth £21.2bn, and is set to grow by £2bn next three years. What’s more, food delivery was worth £8.1bn in 2018. Since launch in July 2017 Lean Lunch have produced and delivered over 40k meals, with major B2B accounts including Burberry, Asda and Sky. At present, Lean Lunch is currently focused on the Leeds area.

It’s an interesting area at the moment, with established players like Deliveroo and Uber Eats taking the share of the market. However, Lean Lunch could be tapping into something here, as most of their accounts are B2B, meaning they are contracted in with companies, rather than relying on the whims of customers, who aren’t always going to order food to be delivered. The B2B base gives them a reliable source of customers. 

Le Tote to buy Lord & Taylor

One of America’s oldest department stores, Lord & Taylor, is being sold for USD$100m (£82m) to rental clothing company Le Tote. Le Tote is buying the company from Hudson’s Bay Co., which gets a minority stake in Le Tote and will control two seats on its board.

Lord & Taylor, founded as a dry goods store in 1826, has struggled recently as more people shop online. It has closed several stores, including its flagship on New York’s Fifth Avenue, which was shut its doors for good earlier this year.

Le Tote, created less than a decade ago in San Francisco, said it plans to bring clothing rental to Lord & Taylor’s customers. With clothing rental, popularised by startups like Rent the Runway, customers pay a monthly fee to get clothes shipped to them, wear a few times and then ship them back. Traditional retailers, such as Urban Outfitters and Banana Republic, are launching their own versions.

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