Founded in 2006 by experienced multidisciplinary creative leader Chris Hess with the goal to create an environment void of egos, stuffy beige cubicles, and big agency bureaucracy, Boulder-based Mondo Robot was a different kind of digital agency. With Colorado culture through-and-through, this digital product agency was founded to work with cool people, in a cool environment, working on cool stuff – and in the decade and a half since its inception, Chris made it happen. Winning spots on Best Place to Work lists multiple years in a row and creating transformative digital products for clients like Apple, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Microsoft, Coachella, Specialized Bicycles, Ruffwear, Fastaff, and Vail Resorts, Mondo Robot was indeed an agency of cool people working on cool projects.

Finding A Partner To Strengthen Their Focus And Support Their Growth

Chris had been approached to sell by multiple private equity firms and agencies over the years, but it was critical to him to find not just any partner but the right partner. He wanted to sell to a really cool agency or financial buyer that would create more growth opportunities for his team and keep the same vision around creative work.

He joined forces with us at Barney to find a strategic partner that would allow Mondo Robot to stay true to itself, while also strengthening its focus and supporting its growth. Chris knew that selling an agency the old-school way was a miserable task, often ending with a bunch of legal fees and no deal, and he wanted a painless, personalized acquisition process that would end with cash in the bank and the perfect partner for his agency. Spoiler alert: with Barney, thats exactly what he got.

Colorado Culture And A Unique, Human-Centric Approach To Design 

One of the things we loved about Mondo Robot was their culture. Their award-winning, very Colorado culture had them easily retaining critical team members and attracting new ones. With a focus on integrity, respect, and work-life harmony, Mondo Robot offered perks like summer flex time, a wellness benefit, and opportunities for team members to let their hair down like ski days, brewery bus tours, family picnics, and casino night costume parties. Team members were close, working to leave their egos at the door and help each other grow.

The team worked just as hard as they played, too. With a unique human-centric approach to design, they created digital solutions that optimized, redefined and disrupted industry standards to solve complex business problems for their partners. For more than a decade, they built and designed digital products for a variety of clients from global industry leaders to start-ups, offering digital product vision, brand and identity, experience design, and software engineering.

Finding The Perfect Partner For Mondo Robot

Like Mondo Robot, we saw an opportunity to do things differently in our industry – and we took it. We started Barney because we couldnt find competent M&A advisors to sell our own digital businesses (they were either way too out-of-touch or had no understanding of the digital space). With our industry specialization, shorter timeline, database of over 25k buyers, and simple, personalized process, we fixed it and created the best acquisition experience in the world.

Excited to help Chris find the perfect partner for Mondo Robot, we set out to understand everything there was to know about his agency. Once we had a feel for all the Mondo Robot magic and a clear valuation, we put together awesome marketing materials to help buyers understand exactly what the agency had to offer. We reached out to our huge pool of highly qualified, strategic buyers and quickly found Mondo Robots perfect fit.

A Minority-Owned And Women-Led Strategic Partner 

Chris poured his heart into Mondo Robot for 15+ years – and he wasnt about to let a bad-fit partner ruin his baby. At Barney, we understand that the perfect fit isnt just financial (we’ve been there ourselves!). We specialize in finding an all-around perfect fit from finances to culture to vision. We found that for Mondo Robot in Conspiracy Theory: a minority-owned and women-led network of agencies and businesses.

Solutions-oriented and focused on growth, Conspiracy Theory provided hands-on digital and media solutions for clients who sought fresh thinking, collaborative partners and a diverse leadership team. CEO Zihla Salinas had admired Mondo Robots design excellence and strong creative culture for years, and jumped at the opportunity to become their strategic partner. Conspiracy Theory’s suite was full of best-in-class creative companies, and Chrisagency fit right in.

With Conspiracy Theorys expertise and specialized support, Mondo Robot could stay true to who they were while strengthening their focus and accessing their full growth potential.

There are a lot of agencies that do creative work, but not that do it like Mondo Robot. They have a human centric approach to design that is unlike anything we’ve seen. It was a pleasure to guide them through the acquisition process.”

Amanda Dixon, Co-Founder at Barney

A Win-Win Ending

Another win-win ending, brought to you by Barney. Mondo Robot had the strategic partner they needed to provide growth opportunities to their team and continue creating best-in-class digital solutions for their clients, and Conspiracy Theory added a best-in-class creative agency to their suite of aligned companies. Chris stayed on at the helm as principal and creative director, ready to steer Mondo Robot through their next phase of growth.

And over at Barney, we crossed our Ts and dotted our Is, closing another win-win deal and adding Mondo Robot to our long list of over 150 media, marketing, and tech companies weve guided through successful acquisitions. Want your agency to be next? Learn more about how we make the magic happen to get founders the exit they deserve or the strategic partner they dream about.