Co-founded in 2016 by Marc Liu, Onur Kiyak and Romey Louangvilay, ELMNTL was a brand-building star in the digital marketing industry. With an award-winning portfolio spanning all industries but focused on hospitality and tourism, ELMNTLs belief in creating a strong foundation from the intersection of clarity and impact grew their clients businesses as well as their own agency to an industry powerhouse. Centered around building brands and creating eye-opening experiences, the ELMNTL team of industry experts and bright new minds won award after award for their combination of tried-and-true methods and fresh innovation.

An Asian-American Led, Diverse Agency At The Cutting Edge Of Digital Marketing

ELMNTL wasnt just an agency: it was a force of nature. Onur, Romey, and Marc founded ELMNTL with a dream to grow an Asian-American led, diverse agency at the cutting edge of digital marketing. They had reached a point in the agencys journey where they knew they needed a partner to further their goal of growing their global footprint, client base, expertise, and talent. Onur had recently left the firm to run his own hospitality marketing agency, but Mac and Romey didnt want to exit the business – they just knew they needed support to get to the next level of all that was possible for ELMNTL.

They partnered with us at Barney to find them the support they needed: a buyer who could collaborate to help ELMNTL realize its huge potential. With our unparalleled, real-world business acumen, large pool of ready and willing buyers across the world, and uniquely effective approach to marketing agencies, we think its pretty clear that they made the right choice.

Helping Brands Make Truly Meaningful Connections That Turn People Into Loyal Advocates

ELMNTL was an agency serving both global and local innovating brands, telling stories, touching audiences, and driving business growth with their goal-oriented strategic process focused on clearly identifying measurable outcomes and building a roadmap to achieving those goals using any channel necessary.

As an award-winning agency rooted in diversity and focused on helping brands make truly meaningful connections that turn customers and clients into loyal advocates, the ELMNTL team created to inspire. Offering branding and strategy, web design and development, public relations, social and influencer, advertising, and creative production, clients like UFC, the Tourism authority of Thailand, Pizza Hut, Solid State Coffee, The Halal Guys, and Cenote were able to tap into a wide range of integrated services to tell authentic stories and grow through creative marketing campaigns that inspired customers and drove sales.

With offices in Denver, New York, Dallas, Manila, and Sao Paulo ELMNTL was truly a global agency with a global perspective and a local point of view. They were committed to their core values of constant learning and innovation, teamwork, diversity in all its forms, excellence, and taking total ownership of getting client results. Working with organizations such as FaithAction and ELEI, the team was able to support progress with conservation and environmental protection, diversity and inclusion, immigrants and LGBTQ+ communities.

At Barney, we love to see agencies thriving within their values, creating massive impact for their clients, and doing good by giving back. We loved ELMNTLs holistic approach to diversity, top-tier client roster, and innovative approach to brand storytelling that delivered results for their clients again and again. We were excited to find them their dream partner to take them to their next phase of evolution and growth.

They Didnt Just Want An Acquisition, They Wanted A Partner

Marc and Romey didnt want just any old buyer. For an agency as unique and powerful as theirs, they needed an equally unique and powerful partner. Their dream buyer would be able to further ELMNTLs goal of growing the agencys global footprint, client base, expertise, and talent – all while staying aligned with their culture and key values. While they served clients across industries, they particularly focused on hospitality and tourism so finding a partner who understood that market was valuable to them.

Finding ELMNTLs Perfect Fit 

Not in the business of settling for second-best, we set out to find ELMNTL the perfect buyer that met each of the owners goals. The last thing Marc and Romey wanted was to sell the agency they had poured their hearts and souls into to a company that would run it into the ground, ruin the culture, or destroy the foundational values they held dear.

With over 150 acquisitions of media, marketing and tech companies under our belt, we at Barney were uniquely equipped to find their perfect partner. We started by popping the hood at ELMNTL and learning all there was to learn about them: from their team to their culture to their numbers. We calculated the agencys worth to todays buyers and crafted awesome marketing materials to communicate to our vast network of buyers what made ELMNTL a great investment. With our deep-seated relationships with both strategic and entrepreneurial buyers, we quickly found the perfect fit for ELMNTL: Iron Horse Venture Group.

Furthering Both CompaniesGrowth Goals 

Based in Denver, Iron Horse Venture Group held a portfolio including renewable energy, technology, digital analytics, and marketing companies. The venture capital firm was new to the digital marketing sector and quickly realized that most companies were either really good at creative work and merely dabbled in digital marketing, or were heavy on the digital side with little creative talent. They found a balance of both in ELMNTL, which enabled the agency to deliver a more comprehensive solution to clients.

An experienced business development leader in various industries including marketing, technology and healthcare, Iron Horse managing partner Ron Vernon was chosen to lead ELMNTL. With a strong entrepreneurial background and expertise in sales, management, go-to-market strategy, professional services and Software as a Service (SaaS), Ron was the perfect partner to further both companiesgrowth goals, including expanding ELMNTLs offerings and reach.

Ron viewed the transaction as more of a partnership than an acquisition, with ELMNTL as the cornerstone to Iron Horses business. He recognized the power of ELMNTLs leadership team and marketing expertise, and was excited to help them continue to deliver the best marketing campaigns for their clients.

“Through our effective search process, Barney’s team found and closed the deal with an experienced and resourceful Venture Capital buyer, who, within nine months, has supercharged Elmntl’s growth.”

Esther Townell, Acquisition Manager at Barney

Making The Impossible Possible

By the end of three months, everyone got what they wanted: ELMNTL got a new growth partner, Iron Horse expanded into the digital marketing space, and Marc and Romey went along for the ride as key members of the leadership team. Marc stayed on as head of strategy and operations with some new responsibilities including working with Iron Horse on future acquisitions to boost the agencys capabilities or reach, and leading business development. Romey was named creative director, tasked with overseeing ELMNTLs creative services department and overseeing the agencys PR, influencer marketing, and social media offerings.

Getting everyone they want in a deal like this is our bread and butter at Barney. With our industry specialization, awesome pool of qualified buyers, shorter timeline and simple, personalized process we make the impossible possible: a fast, painless, happy-ending acquisition that ends with cash in the bank and a great fit all around.