W2O sells stake to private-equity firm

W2O Group said this week that it has sold an undisclosed share of the company to private equity firm Mountaingate Capital to fund its growth strategy. The investment deal was finalized at the beginning of March.

Recently founded by four former KRG Capital executives, the Denver-based private equity firm has a marketing services portfolio that includes data-driven firm Ansira and Aspen Marketing Services.

W2O Group achieved 16% year-over-year growth to $95.5 million in 2015, which Mountaingate MD Bruce Rogers cited in a statement about the firm's investment.

See also: Top 100 Agencies: W2O Group

"The company has demonstrated an enviable rate of consistent, sustained year-over-year revenue growth since its founding, and has built strong partnerships with its client base of leading global companies and brands," he said.

Rogers was unavailable for comment as of press time.

W2O CEO Jim Weiss (pictured) said he expects his firm to break the $100 million revenue threshold this year. In the past seven years, the firm has grown by a yearly average of $11 million. His company has explored partnerships with traditional banks, holding companies, private equity firms, and venture capital firms, Weiss said.

See also: W2O, Lagrant Foundation team up on healthcare diversity push

"There are many more options for private companies than there were five years ago," he told PRWeek. "Until recently, I've been the sole owner and financier, and that came primarily from a line of credit that was very good. But it wasn't allowing us to make acquisitions or make big game-changing hires and catapult us forward the way we wanted or the way our clients wanted."

Mountaingate offered "favorable terms" to W2O and allowed the firm to maintain its autonomy, according to Weiss.

"Mountaingate also has a lot of complementary knowledge in the digital and marketing services space," he said. "They really will advise us on all things M&A, and we will really look to them for guidance and advice."

In a blog post to his employees, Weiss added Mountaingate won't be involved in the firm's day-to-day operations.

"Their investment will be used to fund our growth strategy, including potential acquisitions, extending our global footprint, creating new services, and optimizing our client experience with a stronger infrastructure that can support healthy scaling," Weiss said.

This story originally appeared in PRWeek.