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Digital agency acquired by Bristol education specialist

Education media and marketing services firm Hybrid has acquired Crisp Digital – a digital development agency,

Crisp Digital is an AI-led, full-stack development, hosting and maintenance agency. It was founded by Matthew Crisp, who brings over 13 years’ experience of helping businesses to design, build and develop unique digital solutions that drive revenue, attract new customers and increase market share.

Following the acquisition, Matthew takes on the role of director of technology at Bristol-headquartered Hybrid, joining the business alongside his team of specialist developers in the UK and Nepal.

The transaction represents an opportunity for Hybrid to broaden its service offering to clients, adding complementary skills to its robust team.

This is Hybrid’s second acquisition since it secured a £13m investment from private equity partner, LDC, in June 2021, following that of Prompt Marketing in June 2023.

Led by chief executive Chris Cammann, Hybrid continues to drive growth by offering innovative, bespoke services to education clients in offices across four continents. Its ambitious domestic and international expansion strategy has led to global growth, with the launch of its first US office in Philadelphia, in addition to widening its UK and APAC teams.

For the year ending 31 December 2023, Hybrid recorded revenues of £25m, up from £17m in 2022, and grew its headcount by 26 per cent to over 150 people globally.

Chris Cammann said: “Matthew has built an incredible team at Crisp Digital and the expertise they bring to Hybrid will enable us to really enhance the services we provide to clients. This includes developing our AI strategy to better understand student behaviour and preferences and using this insight to drive campaign activity. We’re able to support our higher education clients as they face new sector challenges with data, ample resources and effective analysis of the marketing. It is a tremendous next step to have them on board.”

Matthew added: “Hybrid is a global leader in the higher education market and there’s a real opportunity for my team to help enhance the business’ service offering and support its organic growth strategy. There’s also a really strong alignment in the culture and values of our organisations, and I’m confident Hybrid is a brilliant place for the Crisp Digital team to build their careers.”

Oliver Schofield, Investment Director at LDC, said: “The acquisition of Crisp Digital marks an important milestone for Hybrid as it further bolsters its team and expands its offering for clients, from digital marketing to data insights and creative work. Higher education institutions are continuing to look for new ways to attract students and drive growth, and since we partnered with Hybrid in 2021, we have supported them in growing their range of services through two acquisitions, as well as expanding their geographical footprint into the US market. We look forward to supporting Chris and the team as they continue their growth journey.”

Womble Bond Dickinson (Alex Fergus) provided legal advice and Hazelwoods (Daniel Bond) provided financial due diligence on the transaction.

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