Digital marketing start-up 11:FiftyNine receives investment to aid growth

Jordan Phillips and Saul Johnstone (L+R) with David Callaghan of HLN Group (centre)

A digital marketing start-up that was successful in securing the coveted ICE 50 sponsorship has received new investment to further its growth plans.

11:FiftyNine, which was established in 2016 by Saul Johnstone and Jordan Phillips, has secured backing from the directors of multi-disciplinary consultancy HLN Group in a bid to establish itself as a leading digital marketing agency.

In a deal structured and advised by Tom O’Brien of Verde Corporate Finance, 11:FiftyNine is poised for further growth thanks to the new partnership having achieved early success due to contracts with companies such as Cardiff International Airport.

As a result of the association with HLN, 11:FiftyNine will benefit from funding, work space in Cardiff and a support network designed to nurture the company’s directors and facilitate rapid expansion. Over the next few months, the fledgling agency is looking to recruit extra staff to cope with demand.

The digital marketing agency is already benefitting from the relationship by tapping into HLN’s contacts outside of Wales, namely in London, where HLN Group also has offices.

Co-director of 11:FiftyNine Saul Johnstone, says: “When we initially set up we took things slow and stuck to our game plan, that of quality over quantity. While Jordan and I are ambitious we’re also realists and we’re aware of how tough it is to break through. However, slowly and surely we developed our contact base and landed a series of contracts in the space of a few short months.

“We’re fortunate that the directors of HLN have seen the potential in our offering and we’re grateful for their support. With their support and contacts, there is huge potential for us, not only in Wales but further afield. We see this opportunity as a chance to push the envelope and really make a name for ourselves, while shaping the perception of marketing in the 21st century. We’re excited to see what the future holds.”

HLN Group is a multi-disciplinary design consultancy formed in 2009. Having acquired five businesses in the last eight years with support from Finance Wales, this is the first foray for the directors of HLN Group into other professional service providers. Managing Director, David Callaghan, commented: “The need for a robust online presence in this day and age is something I know all too well due to my involvement in HLN Group and my knowledge of the wider business community.

“As soon as I met Jordan and Saul I was impressed with their knowledge, passion and drive. While not directly linked to our core offering, we could see value in backing their burgeoning venture. We share the same views on the future of the industry and after employing their services, it seemed like a natural progression.

“Their approach to digital marketing is innovative and refreshing, something I’m keen to champion in the months ahead.”