Building Blocks becomes the first transatlantic agency to join newly created digital group, Dept

Tue 17th May

Digital agency Building Blocks, headquartered in Manchester, has become the first transatlantic agency to join Dept – a new, international group of leading digital agencies. Joining alongside four leading Dutch firms, Building Blocks will operate side-by-side with its sister agencies, but retain its own identity.

With Building Blocks joining the group, Dept will grow to over 350 employees with a joint revenue in excess of €45 million, and offices in the UK, US, Spain, and the Netherlands. Dept’s aim is to double its turnover to €100 million over the next five years.

Specialising in the design and build of complex digital solutions for global enterprises, Building Blocks joins sister agencies TamTam (a top three digital agency in the Netherlands), Expand Online (a specialist SEO agency), a friend of mine (a leading social agency in the Netherlands), and Second Degree (the first specialist LinkedIn marketing agency in Europe).

Building Blocks, which has offices in Manchester (UK), Boston (US) and Zaragoza (Spain), has already embarked on an ambitious expansion strategy, fuelled by autonomous growth. In 2010, it expanded into North America and, more recently, into mainland Europe where it opened its first Spanish office. The opportunity to join the Dept group is a natural progression in the evolution of the company.

Building Blocks has just closed its most successful business year since it was founded in 2007, winning new business with global enterprises including Imperial Brands, Guardian Industries and Kaspersky Labs. Its growing global client base is predominantly comprised of B2B organisations that operate in multiple markets and languages.

Jasper van de Luijtgaarden, CEO at Building Blocks, said,

“2015 was our most successful year to date, with revenue increasing by 19 per cent. Joining Dept will accelerate our growth, increase our global footprint, and help us to capitalise on the opportunities that we are seeing in the US and mainland Europe. Dept’s vision of creating a network of market-leading agencies will help us to better serve our growing client base with complimentary services to our core portfolio.”

Spearheaded by Paul and Bart Manuel, co-founders of Dutch agency TamTam, and following investment from private Dutch equity firm, Waterland, Dept will continue with their buy and build strategy to realise its international ambitions.

“We are excited to welcome the Building Blocks team into the Dept family,” said Paul Manuel, founder of Dept. “From the first moment, it felt like a perfect match. We share our culture, our entrepreneurial drive, and the will to always keep improving our work. Building Blocks being part of our network adds to our growing international footprint, and enables us to create even more game-changing digital services for organisations around the world. We can’t wait to work together!”