Derris sells majority stake |  BoF

Derris sells majority stake | BoF

Derris sells majority stake |  BoF

Marketing and public relations agency BerlinRosen recently invested in the New York-based agency, founded in 2013 and known for playing a strategic role in launching and marketing several leading brands in the direct-to-consumer space over the last decade, including Warby Parker, Everlane and Brighter. Financial details were not disclosed.

The investment allows Derris to continue to operate independently while expanding its staff (there are currently 65 employees in New York and 10 in London) as well as its suite of offerings. (The executive team, including founder Jesse Derris and partner Lisa Frank, will remain in his place and no positions will be eliminated.)

Since partnering with Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based private equity firm O2 in January 2022, BerlinRosen has made a number of investments, including a majority stake in public affairs experts Glen Echo Group, based in DC, and at the diversity, equity and inclusion consultancy Onward. BerlinRosen advises on everything from political campaigns (Pete Buttigieg during his 2020 presidential bid, Beto O’Rourke for Senate) to political advocacy (such as reproductive rights) and crisis management along with strategic communications for brands. Derris will offer BerlinRosen deeper access to consumer brands and direct-to-consumer startups, where he has “uniquely defined the space,” according to BerlinRosen co-founder Jonathan Rosen, taking several of his companies from “zero to be.” category leaders.

Derris’s success over the past decade has influenced the structure and operation of fashion and beauty public relations agencies. Today, most agencies focus less on traffic sampling and event production, and more on marketing and branding beyond traditional media. But few have managed to play an integral role in launching and building the brand compared to Derris. As companies in the consumer space feel increased pressure from both employees and supporters to clearly establish and deliver on brand values, Derris will be able to leverage BerlinRosen’s expertise in public affairs and policy.

“When we started the agency, it was about being strategic, not just tactical executors,” Frank said. “When it was time to scale, the next thing was to be able to optimize the model we created.”

Learn more:

The PR agency behind Warby Parker, Everlane and Glossier goes international

New York-based Derris has acquired London-based agency Sample as its clients look to grow outside of the US market.

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