Dynamo reveals acquisition by Glossier as the beauty empire announces US$52 million Series C

Hot on the heels of Glossier announcing an impressive US$52 million Series C, Montreal-based Dynamo has revealed that it was acquired by the direct-to-consumer beauty company last December.

The full-service digital design studio founded by Alex Nemeroff and Bryan Mahoney in 1999 offers services including brand strategy, design, development, content strategy, analytics and consulting. Dynamo is also the force behind the quarterly Dynamic/MTL event series and the full-day conference One & All that launched this past fall. Dynamic/MTL and One & All were not included in the acquisition, of which no financial terms have been released.

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New York-based Glossier, which evolved out of founder and CEO Emily Weiss’s popular blog Into the Gloss, sells it own makeup, fragrance, and body products—22 products in total now—direct-to-customers. The company claims it launches a new product approximately every six weeks, but is equally well-known for its brand building in an oversaturated industry.

“Glossier is a brand that we’ve worked with—we actually helped launch it three or so years ago—and Dynamo was used to working with startups in that space. They raise a little bit of money, they go to market, and they need some kind of digital experience to go with that. So once we helped them launch, they did spectacularly well over time. They ended up getting a Series A and Series B in short succession, and then this big big Series C they just announced. And we were with them throughout all of that,” co-founder Alex Nemeroff told MTLinTECH.

“What was atypical of this relationship was that we continued to work with them for a few months after they launched. The idea was for them—like most of our clients—to eventually take what we do and make it internal. They did that, they continued to build up their design and technology team internally, but their needs were so great and our relationship was so solid that we just kept working together for a long time after that. Cut to a few months ago, Henry, their COO, and I started talking about what it might look like if they had an office outside of New York and they built it with people who knew their brand and who they knew very well. That eventually led to us deciding to go through with this acquisition where Dynamo would essentially become part of Glossier.”

The 150-person company is spread between its headquarters in SoHo, London, and soon to be Montreal. Glossier will be taking over Dynamo’s offices in the Mile-Ex neighborhood, as well as expanding the team here.

“They’re essentially taking our office and turning it into a Montreal Glossier office. Not only that, they’re expanding the team in Montreal. They’ll be hiring other people here, and our office was built with room to grow. And that growth will now be Glossier growth, with new hires here in the city.”

Co-founder Bryan Mahoney has taken a position as CTO of Glossier, and most of the Dynamo team have integrated into Glossier as well.

“My business partner—Bryan and I were founders of Dynamo. We started it out of university almost 20 years ago. And he, on the technical side of the business, and I on the design side of the business, he had taken a role as CTO at Glossier, and now is working out of New York. And everyone under the design and tech umbrella at Dynamo is now an internal part of that technology team there. That’s the practical impact on the Dynamo team.”

Nemeroff, however, isn’t quite sure yet what he’ll do next. He’ll assist with the transition in Montreal, but also hopes to take some time to pursue some of his own projects.

“I’m going to do some of my own stuff going forward. I’m going to take some time off, pursue some of my own work and projects, and then figure out how I invest my time in the not-too-distant-future. Most of the team is heading over to Glossier and I’ll be helping with transition, but I’ll be pursuing some of my own things as well.”

Glossier so far does not disclose its revenue numbers, but it does say it saw three times as much revenue last year as in 2016. Add that to the fact that the global industry is expected to grow from $433 billion today to $750 billion by 2024, and Glossier’s arrival in Montreal becomes a very exciting prospect indeed.


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