MANCHESTER — Steven Bartlett and Dominic McGregor, the co-founders of social media and marketing agency Social Chain, are leaving the firm one year after merging with a German online retailer.
CEO Bartlett (pictured) and COO McGregor were 20 and 21 respectively when they launched the firm in Manchester six years ago. They have grown Social Chain to a team of more than 750 across bases in Berlin, London, New York and Munich working with global brands including Amazon, Coca Cola and Apple.
In October last year, the company merged with German online retailer Lumaland AG to become The Social Chain AG, listing on the Düsseldorf Stock Exchange and the Xetra electronic exchange. The combined firm had revenues forecast to hit $200 million this year and bills itself as “the first integrated social media company combining world-leading reach, industry-defining marketing capabilities and first party data to build and scale owned social media brands.
Post-merger, Social Chain went on the acquisition trail, buying a majority stake in online superfoods retailer KoRo, supplements supplier Solidmind, natural interior brand company Urbanara, German digital marketing agency Conteam:below and advertising agency drtv.agency. In May this year, it announced its biggest acquisition, taking a 51% stake in A4D Inc, a Californian digital performance marketing agency.
Neither Bartlett nor McGregor have revealed the reasons for their sudden departure, or what they plan to do next. In a LinkedIn post, Bartlett said: “Social Chain was conceived on a small desk in the backroom of the uni I had just dropped out of in Manchester. I was 20, full of wild dreams, and I believed we could take on the world.
“What started as a crazy and sometimes ridiculed idea, in the mind of a few drop-out underdogs, at a time when people didn’t believe in the potential of this new thing called social media, turned into the most unforgettable ride of a lifetime.
“As I write this, at 27, we have more than 700 Social Chainers around the world, a world-beating team, we went public last year, we are the best at what we do, and we’ve just posted record numbers. The company is showing unbelievable momentum and I remain Social Chain’s biggest fan, supporter, and believer.
Wanja S. Oberhof, currently co-CEO of Social Chain AG and former CEO of Lumaland, remains as the head of the company.