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Verve joins United Playgrounds, a portfolio company of Standard Investment

  • Award-winning branding agency with strong expertise in strategy, design and development

  • Partnering with United Playgrounds for matching ambitions and DNA to enable continued international growth strategy

  • Selective approach in targeted process for optimal match and outcome

  • CFI represented shareholders and current management


About Verve

Verve was founded in 2007 as Vruchtvlees and has two offices in The Hague (HQ) and Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Verve offers comprehensive branding solutions with over 35 brand designers, developers and strategists. With a strong expertise in brand strategy, identity, visual/UX/digital design, development and project management, Verve optimally serves its international client base of 90+ clients, predominantly active in fintech, B2B SaaS and consultancy services. Due to its appealing (re)branding projects, Verve was elected as the European Design Agency of the Year 2022 for the second time in its history. This excellent track record resulted in strong growth and the opening of Verve’s Amsterdam office in 2022.

About United Playgrounds

United Playgrounds was founded in 2022 as an international group of specialist and high-quality niche brands in digital marketing, backed by private equity firm Standard Investments. The group currently consists of LiveWall, Wave, 100%EMAIL and 100%driven. United Playgrounds aims to be the leading European group in designing and building end-to-end data-driven and digital products, services, solutions and campaigns.

About the transaction

After establishing its excellent position as a leading, international branding specialist, the founding shareholders of Verve oriented several routes to further accelerate its growth momentum and to realise their goal of becoming the worldwide leading branding agency. In the process, a well-selected group of potential partners was invited to optimally explore and determine the match to obtain the desired outcome. By joining United Playgrounds, Verve is able to expand its offering with the adjacent specialisms under the United Playgrounds umbrella, to fully unburden its international client base. During the process, United Playgrounds was able to recognise and acknowledge the strategic value of Verve whilst simultaneously addressing the personal and professional ambitions of the founders and the company, resulting in the optimal outcome.

CFI’s role in the process

With Verve’s numerous awards and its distinct profile, several companies indicated their interest in recent years. This led to CFI and Verve’s founding shareholders to engage in a strategic dialogue. Enabled by CFI’s experience in the digital agency era, a thoughtfully selected group of potential partners was included in a targeted and orchestrated sales process. This provided Verve with the opportunity to pitch its growth plans to the right strategic partner to match its DNA and ambitions. CFI successfully negotiated the deal terms, strategically advised and supported Verve’s shareholders during the entire M&A process, which resulted in a successful transaction with United Playgrounds on 28 September 2022.

If you would like to know more about how we work, or our experience in the Software & IT sector, then please do not hesitate to contact us.


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