UTA acquires influencer agency DBA
United Talent Agency (UTA) has bolstered its roster of digital talent with the acquisition of Digital Brand Architects (DBA), which represents more than 140 internet-famous artists and ‘influencers’.
Founded in 2010 by CEO Raina Penchansky, and co-owned by the Azoff Company since 2013, DBA’s clients collectively reach over 200 million followers, spanning travel, family, fashion, food, home and beauty. Its roster includes Gabi Gregg (Gabi Fresh), Aimee Song (Song of Style), Camila Coelho, Rach Parcell (Pink Peonies), Amber Lewis (Amber Interiors), Gina Homolka (Skinnytaste), Gaby Dalkin (What’s Gaby Cooking), Naomi Davis (Love Taza), Genevieve Padalecki (Now & Gen), Julia Engel (Gal Meets Glam) and Emily Schuman (Cupcakes and Cashmere).
DBA will continue to operate as a separate company from its offices in New York and Los Angeles.
UTA has also acquired DBA’s interest in Digital Brand Products (DBP), which builds and brokers new fashion, beauty and other licensed products around DBA’s clients, and Dear Media, DBA’s audio studio and distribution vehicle. DBP-launched products include dozens of retail brands, including Something Navy at Nordstrom and Gal Meets Glam, while Dear Media has developed 20 influencer-led podcasts since its launch in mid-2018, with an additional 15 in development.
“Raina and her team have built an extraordinary company, with an inspiring, client-first culture, that has allowed them to be true leaders in the influencer marketplace,” says Brent Weinstein, UTA partner and chief innovation officer, who will oversee DBA, DBP and Dear Media.
“Raina and her team have built an extraordinary company”
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with the entire DBA, DBP and Dear Media teams to help ensure that our organisations and clients continue to be leaders and innovators in this fast-growing space.”
“Simply put, DBA and UTA are a great fit,” adds Penchansky. “Both companies were out front in recognising the potential of the digital talent marketplace and we have like-minded missions, values and culture. By joining one of the premier companies in the global talent industry, DBA has an extraordinary opportunity to accelerate growth, offer a new wealth of creative opportunities to clients and dedicate even more resources to expanding our leadership in innovation.”
UTA was the first major booking agency to launch a digital division, in 2006, and today represents over 100 online stars, including Emma Chamberlain, Shane Dawson, Karina Garcia, Shay Mitchell, Rhett and Link and Wengie.
Irving Azoff, founder of the Azoff Company, comments: “When we invested in DBA in 2013 we recognised the future of the company. In the following five-plus years, we have seen tremendous success with the venture as DBA became an industry leader in the space. It’s great to put two friends together and we wish DBA continued success under the UTA banner.”
The acquisition of DBA follows last year’s takeover of electronic music agency Circle and esports companies Press X and Everyday Influencers. UTA sold a minority stake to private-equity firms Investcorp and PSP Investments last August.