Founded in 2012 by Ryan Wilson, FiveFifty is a Denver-based programmatic advertising firm specializing in digital media buying with a deep focus on data, addressable media, and analytics. With a unique service offering, specialization in travel & tourism, seasoned team, and both a client and employee retention rate of over 3 years, FiveFifty has a proven model that consistently delivers high-quality results for their clients. Serving clients like Boyne Resorts, Travel Alaska, and Westerra Credit Union, FiveFifty helped brands reach and influence real people in measurable ways. 

Seeking a New Owner to Build on FiveFiftys Success

After almost a decade of growing FiveFifty to a highly sought after agency with a rock-solid team, Ryan was ready to take his agency to the next level. His love for his business and all the people on his team is evident in each conversation with him and he understood that as the business grew the skills that got it off the ground werent necessarily the ones needed to take it to the next level. 

Ryan set out to find an acquirer who could match FiveFifty’s culture, give their team more room to grow, and help them expand into their full potential. He partnered with the team at Barney to find the ideal acquirer to meet his goals. At Barney, were obsessed with helping passionate founders of marketing, media and tech companies get their dream exit. 

We fell in love with FiveFiftys epic culture and the incredible results they got for their clients over and over again, and we were excited to find Ryan and the FiveFifty team a partner that could expand on what they had built.

Industry Experts with Big Growth Potential  

With their expertise in the media buying, robust data science at the core of their approach, and strong culture built on core values with employees that love what they do, FiveFifty won awards from the AVA Digital Awards to Digidays Employer of the Year. They are industry experts laser focused on mid-market travel and tourism clients getting big results – leading to long-term, established client relationships and regular acquisitions of new, good quality clients from niche referrals. 

Their high quality results and seamless ability to plug into multiple team environments generated lasting partnerships with a variety of clients in the travel and tourism industry, and they were often sought by other agencies for their knowledge and ability to drive results for clients. Unique, profitable, good at what they do? Check, check, check.

We loved what FiveFifty had already built, and we were excited about where they could go. They had massive growth opportunities at their fingertips with the potential to add outbound sales channels, offer in-demand packaged analytics, insource their skills, execute CTV campaigns at scale, and expand their SEO services. They just needed a partner to help them capitalize on it. With a growth plan driven by their expertise in a rapidly changing, increasingly complex landscape and traditional agencies shifting their media dollars this way, the future looked bright for FiveFifty to grow at scale.

FiveFiftys Ideal Buyer

Ryan cared a lot about his team and wanted to make sure they were taken care of. He didnt want them to be forced to assimilate to a new culture, and the last thing he wanted was an acquirer who intended to gut the company. An acquirer that didnt have any synergies with FiveFifty and simply wanted to buy their revenue wouldnt be a fit, either – he wanted a buyer who would fit the culture they had spent so much time and energy cultivating as well as bring resources and expertise to the table.

Finding a Buyer to Meet All of Ryans Goals

Selling an agency isnt just about finding a financial fit. Of course, thats important, and we love getting founders the money they deserve for the incredible businesses theyve created. At Barney we specialize in finding buyers that meet all of the founders goals – including culture, strategic, and financial goals. We set out to find FiveFifty a buyer to check all of Ryans boxes, and we started by popping the hood at the agency to figure out how much they were worth to buyers in todays market.

With our pulse on the agency market, we worked with Ryan to determine a maximum valuation and put together amazing marketing materials to let potential buyers in on what made FiveFifty a great buy. We tapped into our huge network of qualified strategic and entrepreneurial buyers to quickly find the perfect fit for FiveFifty and they happened to be right in their own back-yard: Booyah Advertising.

Denver agency prioritizing performance and people

A Denver-based digital marketing agency with expertise in paid search, paid social, video, SEO, and Amazon, Booyah Advertising was a perfect fit from the start. Founded in 2001 with a team of over 100 experts and over $100M under management, they had vast experience and expertise to help FiveFifty grow. Their clients included big names in travel and tourism as well as other industries like Aspen Snowmass, SunValley, the Mountain Collective, Western Union, and Murad. They were excited to grow their media buying and planning services with FiveFifty, as well as expand deeper into the travel and tourism industry.  

With a culture that valued caring about people and caring about making campaigns work, they aligned with FiveFiftys human-centered values. Booyah was recognized with best place to work awards over and over again from organizations like AdAge, BuiltIn, Outside, Inc, and more. They opted out of the big agency BS, mixing big agency strategies and big agency tools with a big dose of human-centered values and loving their Denver community. 

“Working with Ryan was one of the great pleasures of my career. He is one of the most intelligent and pleasant entrepreneurs I have met in my lifetime. His agencies ability to service clients on Tradedesk, along with their deep knowledge of analytics made them a highly desirable bolt-on for many agency buyers. Ultimately, Ryan was thrilled to be able to find a home for his team right in his own back yard, turning down more personally beneficial offerings for the betterment of his culture and team. A truly outstanding entrepreneur that I plan to stay in contact with for years to come!”

Jay Dixon, Acquisition Manager at Barney

Getting Founders Like Ryan the Results They Deserve

Booyah was the perfect fit for FiveFifty financially, culturally, and strategically. Everyone shook hands, signed on the dotted line, and walked away with exactly what they wanted. Booyah got FiveFiftys expertise, team, revenue, process, and culture. FiveFifty got a perfect-fit agency to help them realize all their potential without gutting the company or ruining the culture. 

And at Barney? We toasted to Booyah and FiveFiftys success, and added FiveFifty to our long list of media, marketing, and tech agencies weve guided through acquisitions to perfect-fit buyers. With an approach to M&A as unique as the founders we work with, were proud to help founders like Ryan get the results they deserve.