Zone has taken £6m investment of equity finance from Business Growth Fund (BGF) as part of its ambitious expansion strategy. The move makes the digital agency one of the largest UK-based independents.

Backed by five of the UK’s main banking groups, BGF invests only in strong management teams in high-growth businesses. Its investment in Zone is an endorsement of the UK digital sector as well as the agency’s potential.

The investment will support Zone’s UK and European acquisition plan to further enhance the agency’s offering, particularly as it builds on its expertise in technology, data, video, mobile and CRM.

Zone currently has 185 staff across four offices in London, Bristol, Berlin and Cologne and is forecasting turnover of £17m in 2015.Clients include Coca-Cola GB, Tesco, Barratt Homes, Bupa and BT. The agency recently introduced the first virtual field trips for primary school children in the UK on behalf of the Tesco Eat Happy initiative and was instrumental in the success of Coca-Cola’s Share A Coke campaign.

Through the combination of its content heritage and technological expertise, Zone has grown revenues consistently over the past five years organically and through acquisition.

Zone has also appointed ex Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe’s Jim Kelly as Non-Executive Director to support its accelerated growth plan. Kelly has been working as an independent consultant to digital, advertising and marketing services agencies since stepping down from his role as Dentsu UK chairman in 2013.

James Freedman, executive chairman of Zone said: “The UK’s digital sector is one of the country’s economic success stories. Working with market-leading clients who are as ambitious as us, we are helping drive that story.

“Zone is always committed to delivering a world-class digital service. In today’s fast-changing world that means always developing our capabilities. In the past we’ve made acquisitions through cash-flow. With this new investment we’ll be able to further build our offering.”

As part of the deal, BGF senior investment manager Mark Nunny will join the Zone board. He said: “Our mission is to unlock the potential of fast-growing UK businesses that need long-term capital to drive their future success. Zone is a stand-out agency in one of the UK’s most exciting and evolving sectors. We’re excited to be backing the team, to continue its ambition to deliver industry-leading campaigns for a range of blue chip customers.”

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Notes to Editors:

About Zone:
Zone is one of the UK's leading digital agencies. Founded in 2000, Zone helps great brands thrive in a digital world. Its team of 185 specialists include editorial experts with a strong journalistic pedigree, world-class planners, creatives, UX designers and technologists.

About BGF:
BGF was established in 2011 to help Britain’s growing smaller and medium sized businesses. Backed by five of the UK’s main banking groups – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered – BGF is an independent company with up to £2.5bn with which to make long-term equity investments.

Published on: 2:10PM on 5th February 2015