CI&T buys UK indie agency Somo for £49m

somo bought by CI&T

Somo, one of the UK’s leading independent and multi-award winning digital product agencies, announced today the execution of a sale and purchase agreement to be acquired by CI&T . 

A global digital specialist, CI&T is looking to accelerate its growth in EMEA, combining the power of a global company with Somo’s strong presence in London – Europe’s digital services epicentre.

CI&T buys Somo

Following eighteen months of sustained growth, despite the unprecedented challenges of the global pandemic, Somo has established itself as one of the industry’s most competitive and innovative digital product agencies. 

Somo Founders
Somo sold: Founders Carl Uminski (left) and Nick Hynes (right) are due for a bumper payday.

Amassing and retaining global talent and clients while achieving numerous industry accolades, including CIO’s European Digital Transformation Company of the Year in 2021, Somo has experienced significant return on its ambitious scaling plans.

Somo saw exceptionally high demand from brands in 2021 for digital product expertise. 

The agency said it experienced record client wins, including E.ON, Genesis, Motability, SSE, and Virgin Media, adding to its prestigious client list which already includes the likes of Audi, Vanguard and Vodafone.

Somo recorded approximately £25 million in Net Revenue in 2021, a 41% growth compared to 2020.

CI&T, a renowned digital specialist for some of the world’s biggest brands, including Johnson & Johnson, AB InBev, Carrefour and Google, recognised Somo’s unique and complementing capabilities and impressive performance. 

Together, the companies will enjoy accelerated scale and capabilities across teams, with greater global flexibility and bolstered experience as well as knowledge across sectors, including financial services, automotive, telecoms, retail and utilities.

With offices in the UK, USA and Colombia, Somo already boasts almost 300 highly skilled digital specialists with deep expertise in digital products. 

The agency will now join CI&T’s global team of 5,500 specialists in strategy, research, data science, AI, machine learning, design and engineering.

Somo has enjoyed a 50% increase in global permanent hires – including an almost 400% headcount growth in its newest office in Colombia, whilst also topping Campaign Magazine and Great Place to Work rankings in the UK and Colombia, despite the Colombia office only opening its doors in January 2020. 

It was also listed as one of America’s highest scoring businesses in Inc. magazine’s annual Best Workplaces, ranking as the best place to work in South Carolina and Washington D.C.

Somo CEO Nick Hynes, who co-founded the agency in 2010, will move to the role of Somo President with immediate effect integrating globally across CI&T and expanding the operations across Europe. 

Co-founder and COO Carl Uminski will assume the role of Somo CEO. 

Somo’s strong leadership team remains in place.

“We’ve had an incredible decade growing Somo into one of the industry’s leading independent digital product agencies”, said Nick Hynes, CEO and Carl Uminski, COO and co-founders of Somo.

“We plan to further enrich the services that we provide as we keep a sharp focus on doing the best work for clients. 

“We have no doubt that this deal will provide an even more successful future for all of our stakeholders, including our people and clients. 

“The future together as part of the CI&T family is very, very exciting!”

Cesar Gon, CI&T’s founder and CEO, said: “Somo and CI&T have a similar culture – people first, innovation-driven, and a strong reputation with global brands. 

“Together we will be able to combine the power of a global company with the strength of a strong European player”.

The base purchase price is £49 million, of which up to 25% will be paid with CI&T class A shares, plus an earn-out clause of £9.8 million based on future performance. 

The completion of this transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and is expected to happen during the first quarter of 2022.