Marketing technology platform Wondrlab plans 21 acquisitions in 3 years

Mumbai: Saurabh Varma, former CEO of Publicis Communications South Asia, is on a mission to transform Wondrlab into a global communications powerhouse with Indian roots. Since its inception at the height of the pandemic in November 2020, Wondrlab has grown rapidly to employ over 550 people across India and Poland and has made significant progress with four acquisitions. Varma’s vision includes an aggressive expansion strategy with plans for 21 more acquisitions over the next three years.

“We have identified gaps in our portfolio that we want to fill quickly by acquiring the right companies. We are currently evaluating close to 40 companies, and some are close to conversion,” Varma told Mint. “We only talk to founders who share our vision.”

Founded by Varma, along with Vandana Varma and Rakesh Hinduja, Wondrlab was founded with a singular purpose. “Unlike traditional networks, we focus on integrating products and platforms with digital business transformation (DBT) for a global customer base,” Varma explained. This approach has already led to the acquisition of several companies, including What’s Your Problem (WYP), a digital-first creative agency, and Opportune, a data-driven influencer marketing platform, among others.

The latest addition to Wondrlab’s portfolio is WebTalk, a Polish B2C digital marketing agency acquired in January 2024. This acquisition underscores Wondrlab’s commitment to not only enhancing its service offerings but also expanding its geographic reach, with future hubs planned in Vietnam, the US and West Asia.

“Acquisitions and inorganic growth are part of our core strategy. We have a dedicated M&A team, which is rare in our segment. We are not just building an agency; we are building a network,” Varma said. “That has been our ambition from the beginning. The plan is simple: either you acquire or you are acquired. We have chosen to be an acquirer. Strategically, we are fully digital and avoid legacy structures. We focus on platforms like DVCC (digital video content and community), digital media and data, digital business, and martech/ad. These areas allow us to be a digital-first company.”

This web-centric approach is complemented by a strong focus on digital platforms and the avoidance of outdated structures.

Wondrlab has also invested heavily in technology, especially in areas where digital media intersects with business data and martech (marketing technology). A prime example is its Hector platform, initially developed for Amazon and now being expanded to other platforms like Flipkart. “Hector has been a game-changer in how brands optimize their spend across platforms, providing a strategic advantage in digital marketing,” says Varma.

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology plays a key role in Wondrlab’s strategy, especially in improving customer service and operational efficiency. “AI is key to our strategy, especially in improving efficiency and improving customer service,” Varma said. “This AI integration allows us to advise customers on the best course of action without having to manually search through data.”

To date, Wondrlab has raised over $13 million for acquisitions and product development and will continue to raise more funds to support its growth. Varma remains optimistic about the future, with a clear focus on building a technology-driven, globally integrated marketing network that leverages service and product innovation to meet evolving customer needs.

“We were fortunate to have large customers who believed in our vision, which allowed us to confidently invest in product development while maintaining positive cash flow. This is an exciting time for us and we can’t wait to see where our technologies and strategies take us,” he said.

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