afaqs! news bureau
Influencer Marketing

French influencer marketing agency Ykone acquires Barcode Entertainment to expand in Asia-Pacific region

The agency has acquired a 70% stake in Barcode Entertainment.

YKONE, a leading international influencer marketing agency, has announced the acquisition of 70% of the Indian agency Barcode, a content & influencer marketing agency.

With this strategic move and by combining the strengths of both companies, YKONE has positioned itself as a worldwide leader in Influencer Marketing with a turnover of close to $100 million

After early and successful influencer marketing campaigns involving some of India's biggest stars, such as Deepika Padukone for Chopard and Priyanka Chopra for Experience Abu Dhabi, YKONE's acquisition of Barcode is a strategic move that aligns with the growing opportunities in the Indian influencer market. India’s luxury market is expected to be one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. A Bain & Co report even suggests that by 2030, the luxury market in India could reach a staggering $200 billion. With India's massive social media audience of over 500 million people, the acquisition creates a platform for brands and creators to be part of the next big global journey.

The talent management branch of Barcode, known as "CLICK MEDIA," represents more than 20 famous Indian influencers & actors such as Rohit Zinjurke (30 million followers) and Karishma Sharma (2,2 million followers). This adds significant value to YKONE's portfolio and enhances their ability to connect brands with high-profile influencers in the Indian market.

YKONE's decision to remain independent and carve its own path in the influencer marketing and social media industry sets it apart from social media marketing agencies that are often absorbed by larger advertising groups. By staying independent, YKONE can maintain its agility, focus on innovation, and establish itself as a worldwide leader in the field. The acquisition of Barcode further strengthens YKONE's position, with a turnover of $100 million and a workforce of over 300 employees. This consolidation of resources and expertise positions YKONE for continued growth and success in the influencer marketing and social media worldwide landscape.

Olivier Billon, Founder and CEO of YKONE, stated, "The acquisition of Barcode Agency is a significant step for YKONE and its international expansion. YKONE already had a presence in India with an office in Bangalore since 2017. With the addition of Barcode's operations in India, YKONE's reach in the country and the broader Asia-Pacific region expands even further."

Rahul Khanna, Barcode’s CEO, stated, “We express our heartfelt appreciation to our customers and collaborators in India. This acquisition empowers us to provide worldwide services to our Indianclientele while simultaneously promoting India's unique narrative globally. We are very proud to join forces YKONE's talented teams. My ambition with Olivier is to achieve worldwide supremacy in the field of Influencer Marketing. We are happy to introduce CAMPAYGN to the Indian market. This innovative tool shall help fill the gap of Indian customers planning their content & social commerce strategy with Barcode and YKONE.”

With this move both YKONE and Barcode can leverage their respective strengths, resources, and expertise to seize new business opportunities and adapt to the evolving developments in the international influencer marketing landscape.

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