From Agency to Acquisition: How Socialbakers Acquired SocialBrando From Croatia

Second edition of RockPaperStartups is finally here! After opening credits from our very own Ivan Brezak Brkan and our dear sponsors, keynote speaker Mario Francesevic from SocialBrando shared a story on how his company got acquired by Socialbakers from Czech.

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Foto: Luka Travaš

After our first startup conference last year, we’re back – stronger than ever! The theme for this year’s RockPaperStartups is “From Agency to Startup” and we’ve gather a lot of cool folks in Rijeka, a beautiful town on Croatian coast which also welcomed us last year. During RockPaperStartups 2014 the speakers will talk about their experiences when it comes to scaling startups created in an agency. First up was Mario Francesevic form SocialBrando.

Mario opened up his lecture by saying that he started his first PPC agency in 2008. It was a one man operation but he was making his way up, and in 2010. he and his colleagues started work on a much bigger project. They knew that doing business locally was very hard because the market was quite small back then, so they got together and the SocialBrando was born.

Getting Noticed by Facebook

First thing they needed was access to Facebook Ads API which back in 2010. wasn’t an easy thing to get. They did get in contact with Facebook’s representatives, however, they were just a small operation from Croatia and getting an acceptance letter was next to impossible. In order to get whitelisted, they came up with a microsite which was spreading a message that Facebook’s Ads representatives weren’t contacting them. They created a campaign which they advertised on Facebook and targeted to people who work for this social network. The idea worked and in just under two days they got accepted into a program.

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Huge thanks to our awesome rockstar sponsors!

Because they waited for eight months for their license, the team was eager to start working on their product. In just under three months they finished SocialBrando which became a huge hit, catching attention of marketeers from all over the world. They were thinking of what’s next when Ivan Brezak Brkan got him in touch with Jan Rezab from Socialbakers. Two of them scheduled a meeting and eight months later SocialBrando was acquired.

“It’s been a wild ride since the acquisition”, Mario pointed out. He also added that Socialbakers now has offices in over 10 countries across the globe and operates on all continents. They have a range of products in four different verticals, with SocialBrando leading they way in the “social” category.

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