OakNorth completes £34m club loan to LDC-backed leading digital marketing agency, Croud, to support future acquisitions.


OakNorth, the digital bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, has partnered with HSBC on a £34m club loan to global, full-service digital marketing agency, Croud.

Launched in 2011 by ex-Googler, Luke Smith, and the Former Head of Search at Harvest Digital, Ben Knight, Croud has grown into a leading digital marketing agency with offices in London, Shrewsbury, New York and Dubai. The business, which received private equity backing from LDC in 2019, has reinvented the agency model with its Croud Network – its unique global network of over 2,900 on-demand digital marketing specialists called “Croudies”-  augmenting its 500 in-agency FTEs’ and enabling them to deliver globally for clients out of three hubs in the UK , US and the Middle East.  This unique proposition is made possible by Croud’s proprietary technology platform, Croud Control, which delivers AI-powered planning, workflows, automation, and execution of digital marketing campaigns.

Today, around 40% of its client work is delivered via the Croud network, and it continues to expand on its range of services which include: strategy and planning, media, creative, organic performance, analytics, and technology partnerships. The business has made three acquisitions including, in 2022, social-first media agency, Born Social, and luxury performance marketing agency, VERB. Croud has a highly synergistic M&A platform with its ability to connect agency acquisitions to the Croud Network, enabled by Croud Control, and is actively looking to accelerate its M&A plans.  The club loan will support the business’ future M&A activity.

About Croud: Croud is a global full-service media agency that drives growth for brands through reinvention. They were founded on the belief that the traditional agency model is broken. To help clients thrive in the modern marketing world, they’ve connected a worldwide network of 2,400 Croudies to more than 500 in-house specialists via their proprietary technology. This flexible, specialist approach means they can scale insight and performance internationally.

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