Bristol-based Hybrid secures £13m investment from LDC

Hybrid Bar

Mid-market private equity firm LDC has invested £13m in digital media company Hybrid. LDC’s investment will support Hybrid’s existing management team to grow and develop the business organically and explore targeted acquisitions.

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Headquartered in Bristol, Hybrid creates digital outcomes for clients, helping them to engage specialist audiences across the higher education and technology sectors. As a digital agency in the higher education market, Hybrid partners with universities to support student recruitment, develop differentiated brands and provide tailored insights and data analytics to drive marketing strategy.

Hybrid has an international client base which includes higher education institutions such as the University of Bristol, Australian National University and Columbia University in New York, in addition to global tech brands such as Autodesk, Cisco and Verizon.

Hybrid provides a full suite of digital marketing services, including campaign development, media planning and buying, content creation and data analytics. The company also owns and operates a number of prominent web brands, including Study International, U2B, Tech HQ and Tech Wire Asia. With offices in Bristol, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney, Hybrid employs more than 70 people worldwide.

LDC, Lloyds Banking Group’s private equity arm, will support Hybrid’s existing management team, led by CEO Chris Cammann, to broaden its services to clients and pursue its domestic and international growth ambitions. Founder James Craven will continue to support the business and provide strategic advice as Board Director.

The investment was led by LDC’s Head of South West and Wales, Dewi Hughes, and Investment Directors Oliver Schofield and Stefan Gunn. Dewi and Oliver will join the Board as Non-Executive Directors. As part of the transaction, Hybrid has appointed industry pioneer Jerry Buhlmann as Non-Executive Chairman. Jerry brings more than 30 years’ experience in media and advertising to the business, having previously been CEO of Aegis Group PLC and then Dentsu Aegis Network.

Commenting on the investment, Hybrid CEO Chris Cammann said: “The partnership with LDC creates an outstanding platform for our team and allows us to pursue a strategy of constant innovation for our clients. We want to keep breaking new ground and take our performance with our tech and higher education partners to the next level. The last 12 months has highlighted the importance of digital channels and our work has enabled higher education institutions in particular to continue to drive engagement with their core audiences at a time when student recruitment has never been as important.

“When we were exploring our funding options, we were keen to remain in the driving seat of our business but wanted support from an experienced and knowledgeable investor with a committed source of capital and a shared belief in our goals. LDC understands our direction and we’re looking forward to the journey together.”

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