Rauxa acquires digital development firm ThoughtMatrix

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Jill Gwaltney
Jill Gwaltney

Direct marketing agency Rauxa acquired digital design and development firm ThoughtMatrix, the agency said on Jan. 12. Rauxa CEO Jill Gwaltney said the acquisition closed the last week of December but declined to disclose terms.

Gwaltney said it “became apparent” to Rauxa “a few years ago” that the agency needed to enter the digital space and examined “hundreds of companies” before targeting ThoughtMatrix for acquisition. She said that Rauxa's chief digital officer John Barneson, who the agency hired in September, found ThoughtMatrix and negotiated the deal.

“I need someone who can keep us future-ready, I call it. I need smart. I need a strong background in technology. A lot of agencies will organically grow technology and IT, but I need experts. I need developers and engineers that are at the top of their game; I need that kind of company. We really concluded that the best path was to actually make this through acquisition,” Gwaltney said. She cited ThoughtMatrix's site development, content management and mobile app development capabilities as reasons for choosing to acquire the firm.

Rauxa will fold ThoughtMatrix and combine the firm and Rauxa's San Francisco office in a new location this summer. All employees are being retained, Gwaltney said.

“We have the account services and creative and production and the data, and they have the developers and project managers and engineers and web designers. So there's no crossover; it's the absolute perfect marriage,” she said.

ThoughtMatrix managing partners Tony Rems and Trevor Fagerskog will serve as SVP of technology and SVP of operations, respectively, and will report to Barneson.

ThoughtMatrix services clients such as Mattel, Levi's, Cisco, eBay and PayPal. Gwaltney said there are no client conflicts. Rauxa — whose clients include Sears, Verizon Wireless, Farmers Insurance and Sage — is pitching new clients in the retail, financial services, insurance, technology, pharmaceutical and healthcare verticals, she said.

Rauxa does not have any other acquisitions planned for this year but could look to pick up a mobile company “in the coming years,” Gwaltney said.

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