Cheltenham digital marketing company sells to French counterpart

Ocere Tom Parling

Ocere, a digital marketing agency based in Cheltenham which has previously won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, has been acquired by French digital marketing group JVWEB. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Last year the French group JVWEB raised €25 million to support its double-digit growth and to strengthen SEO capabilities as well as its international network.

With more than 12 years of experience and rapid growth in recent years (including 113 per cent revenue growth in 2020, and 63 per cent in 2021) Ocere is a major player in SEO, specialising in premium outreach, SEO performance and content creation.

Based in Cheltenham, the agency started by Tom Parling in 2009 manages more than 220 active clients across a wide range of sectors (gaming, technology, finance etc) and more than 40 languages (English, French, German, Spanish etc..)

With a presence in France (Paris and Montpellier) and globally (Geneva and Shanghai), the group’s ambition is to continue to open international offices. This acquisition consolidates JVWEB in its position as a key player in digital marketing in Europe and allows the group to integrate new skills in organic search.

Tom Parling, CEO of Ocere, who will be staying with the business, said: “After a nine-month intense process, yielding significant global interest – I was immediately attracted to the proposition from JVWEB and Capital Croissance [a France-based entrepreneur club]. Their values, mindset and ambitions are aligned with ours – and they bring a sharpness to the table that is familiar and mirrors what has made Ocere so successful in recent years.

“We are excited to become part of an ambitious international group, develop our service offerings and continually improve our proposition to clients worldwide. This move is a true “win-win” for our clients, our teams and the collective ambition of both companies.” commented Tom Parling, CEO of Ocere

Jonathan Vidor, Founder & CEO of JVWEB, added: “I am very happy that Ocere is joining JVWEB, we share the same strategic vision, values and desire for development in Europe. This allows us to offer a complete SEO offering to our clients (strategy, on-site, link acquisition, content), and also to develop our expertise in Google Ads and Social ads in the United Kingdom and beyond. The UK is an important and exciting market for us, representing the largest European market and a valuable gateway to the English-speaking worldwide population of over 1.2bn people. This is an exciting step forward in our European development.”

The deal was advised by Darren Murphy at Rafalie Corporate Finance (Ocere side) and Guy-Hubert de Fougères at Capital Croissance (JVWEB side).