YKONE Acquires Majority Stake in Barcode Entertainment, Expanding Influencer Marketing Reach to India

ykone & BarCode Entertainment
Preeti Bali / 7:55 am / March 21, 2024

YKONE, a leading international influencer marketing agency headquartered in Paris, has announced a strategic acquisition of a controlling stake in Barcode Entertainment, an established Indian content and influencer marketing agency. This move signifies YKONE’s foray into the burgeoning Indian influencer marketing space.

French Influencer Marketing Leader Makes Strategic Move into the Indian Market

The details of the transaction were not publicly disclosed by either company. However, industry estimates suggest the valuation of the deal to be between $18 million and $20 million. YKONE acquired a 70% stake in Mumbai-based Barcode through a cash purchase, with the intention of acquiring the remaining 30% stake through an equity swap in the future. Notably, Rahul Khanna, CEO of Barcode, will join YKONE’s board of directors.

YKONE’s Growth Ambitions and Global Leadership Goals

Olivier Billon, Founder and CEO of YKONE, expressed optimism about the acquisition’s impact on their revenue target for 2024. He anticipates the combined entity to reach a turnover close to $100 million, with Barcode contributing approximately $20 million. “This acquisition positions YKONE to become the world’s leading influencer marketing agency,” Billon added.

Barcode’s Perspective: Growth, Technology, and International Recognition

Rahul Khanna, CEO of Barcode, hailed the deal as the largest transaction in the Indian influencer marketing landscape. “Our partnership with YKONE provides us with access to their Campaign platform, an industry-leading influencer marketing automation tool,” Khanna explained. “This will significantly enhance our technological capabilities. Additionally, the partnership fosters international exposure for Barcode.”

Khanna further emphasized the growing demand for specialized influencer marketing agencies. He attributed this trend to the increasing shift of advertising budgets towards influencer-led marketing campaigns.

Barcode’s Established Position in the Indian Market

Founded in 2019, Barcode has emerged as a leading influencer marketing agency in India with a team of over 150 employees. The company boasts a strong track record, having executed over 40,000 brand collaborations and partnerships with a network of 350,000 influencers.

YKONE’s Global Presence and Expansion Plans

YKONE, with its existing revenue of $84 million in 2023, boasts a global workforce exceeding 300 employees. The agency maintains offices in major cities across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the US. This acquisition underscores YKONE’s commitment to global expansion and solidifies its position as a key player in the influencer marketing industry.

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