Founded in 2007 with a sponsored wedding that launched a company, there was something special about Likeable from the very beginning. With Likeable, Dave and Carrie Kerpen created one of the first-ever pure-play social media agencies and in the decade and a half since inception, it’s grown to be an iconic firm known for offering faster service from the smartest team in social with likeability guaranteed.

A Powerful Women-Led Team and an Impressive Roster of Clients at Likeable Media

Focused on creating and distributing social content based on insights gathered from listening across social platforms, Likeable’s client roster includes household names like RedBox, GrubHub, JetBlue, Auntie Anne’s, Entenmann’s, and Great Wolf Lodge. Based in New York City and boasting top social media talent, they have a strong company culture that has won them Crains’ “Best Places to Work in New York City” five times.

At Barney, we love working with agencies that are the best at what they do (not to brag, but we can relate!). With Likeable’s impressive roster of happy clients renewing their contracts year after year, a powerful women-led team, and specialized expertise in expertise in finance, food, and fun, we were thrilled to help them find their perfect-fit buyer.

Likeable Media Acquired By 10Pearls, Likeable Media Acquisition

Making A Smart Exit From The Company She Poured Her Heart Into

CEO and co-founder Carrie recognized that there was mass consolidation in the agency space due to demand from brands to offer a full digital transformation solution. She knew it was the perfect moment to make a smart exit by selling Likeable to a strategic buyer who could increase service offerings to their clients and offer true digital transformation to their brands.

She wanted a future-focused buyer who offered transformational thinking to help businesses re-imagine at scale. It was important to her that their buyer have similar values: a commitment to diversity and inclusion, a focus on giving back to the world, and an ability to provide tremendous value to their clients through true digital transformation.

Carrie was open to staying on as part of the Likeable team or transitioning out to focus on new projects and ventures. Either way, she wanted to sell for Likeable’s true, top-dollar value and make sure the company she had been nurturing for almost 15 years would be in good hands to keep growing and serving clients more strategically across the digital spectrum. The last thing she wanted was to leave Likeable and have the business she and her husband poured their hearts into completely fall apart.

Carrie decided to partner with us for a simple, painless acquisition experience focused on meeting her goals: cash in her bank account and a buyer for her agency that could help Likeable thrive for decades.

Likeable Media Acquired By 10Pearls, Likeable Media Acquisition

A Different Kind of Agency

Likeable’s clients love them for their fast service, “likeable” content, expert knowledge of social media trends, and flexible, easy-to-understand cost structure. Their proprietary three-step process for social media content creation known as Content Cubed™ starts with listening across platforms and ends with creating and connecting that content with the right audience – getting likeability and results for their clients, every time.

As a leader building the future of branded social programming, they’re at the forefront of delivering long-form narrative video storytelling that drives results for their clients. With fast, high-quality content that lets brands engage in real time, it’s no wonder they average an 85% renewal rate.

Doing things differently than other agencies is what Likeable does, and their clients love them for it. We partnered with them to find a buyer who would love them for it, too.

The Selling Process

We loved their unique story, their focus on social, and the powerful results they get for their clients. They wanted an acquisition experience as specialized as they are, and we understood that they needed a buyer who saw the value of a best-in-class social media agency dedicated to doing things differently.

Likeable was looking for a deal that would meet their needs: compensation for Likeable’s huge value and growth potential, and an agency poised to move into the future of marketing with true digital transformation for their brands.

We crunched the numbers and figured out Likeable’s worth to today’s buyers. Then, we put together marketing materials to help potential buyers see what we saw in Likeable and get excited about the possibilities, and we shared them with high-potential perfect-fit buyers in our network. Cue buyer meetings, offers, and their dream buyer entering the scene: 10Pearls.

Finding A Buyer Aligned With Likeable Media’s Values

Washington, D.C. technology company 10Pearls was the perfect organization to join forces with Likeable. With their commitment to gender equity, diversity and inclusion, and giving back to the world, they were aligned with Likeable’s core values. As a global end-to-end digital technology services partner helping businesses leverage technology to re-imagine, digitalize, and accelerate, they were excited to boost their creative output and social brand with Likeable.

As part of a large company boasting diverse clientele across industries and many long-term, successful partnerships built upon trust, integrity, successful delivery, and execution, Carrie saw how Likeable would be supported in upping its capabilities around brand thinking, customer experience, and digital and social media marketing. She was excited about being able to provide even more value to Likeable’s clients and serve them more strategically with true digital transformation.

“This was a culture match from the very beginning. Likeable is a trailblazer and icon in the social media space, and 10Pearls is a game-changing digital transformation company. The whole point of 10Pearl’s services is to make digital experiences seamless, so acquiring a social-first digital marketing platform makes strategic sense. Especially since COVID has been rocket fuel for the move to digitize.”

Amanda Dixon, Co-Founder at Barney

Likeable Media Acquired By 10Pearls, Likeable Media Acquisition

An Eight-Figure Deal for Likeable Media in 85 Days

We closed the 8-figure deal in 85 days, start to finish. Excited about Likeable’s future with 10Pearls, Carrie decided to stay on as Managing Director of the Likeable Media team. With 10Pearls excited to boost its creative output and social brand, and Likeable looking forward to increasing their service offerings to their clients, it was a happy ending all around!

A quality, specialized M&A advisor like Barney can be the difference between selling your digital agency for the best price and leaving money on the table. It can be the difference between a buyer that moves your agency into the future versus a buyer that drops the ball and it all falls apart. At Barney, we love what we do and we love supporting passionate owners like Carrie in selling their agencies so they can move on to their next big dream. Another happy ending, brought to you by the largest acquisition firm for agencies in the US!