& Waterland

The road from Intracto to iO

As Intracto was rapidly gaining traction in the Belgian marketing world, we noticed the potential of this agency and its ambitious entrepreneur Pieter Janssens. He was looking to become a well-rounded, complete partner in marketing – offering a one-stop-shop solution for businesses. Because of the opportunities in the market, we decided to accelerate Intracto’s growth and help Pieter turn his ambition into a reality. In 2018, we started our buy-and-build journey together to transform Intracto and turn it into iO, a full-service marketing agency.

An investment theme filled with opportunity

Due to the increasing complexity of consumers’ demands, outsourcing and digitalization are vital to help companies focus on what truly matters: offering their customers the best possible service and experience. The need for outsourcing and digitalization results in industries filled with opportunities, the marketing industry being no exception.

That explains why Pieter Janssens, CEO of Intracto, noticed that there was room (and a need) in the market for a marketing agency that does it all: a one-stop-shop for all things marketing. This full-service agency of the future allows companies to outsource their marketing endeavors and step into the digital world effortlessly. Our teams at Waterland supported Intracto’s transformation with their extensive industry and investment experience. A match made in heaven.

In Waterland, we have found a powerful financial and entrepreneurial partner that helps us realize our ambitions through accelerated growth.

Pieter Janssens, CEO of iO

Buy-and-build strategy

Our approach always respects the values and vision of the companies we work with. That’s why we aligned our intentions and ambitions before embarking on this journey. In order to offer every possible digital service under the same roof, we needed to find the right opportunities and match Intracto to the right agencies. Only then would every field of expertise be well-represented. Only then would the company culture stay healthy and strong.

Agencies were selected because of their vision, culture and values – we always strive for the perfect match. We were able to acquire a new agency each month. 27, to be exact. Not because we wanted Intracto to grow in size, but because we wanted it to grow in strength. Selecting the right people was a vital part of that. Organic growth, only faster.

But the journey did not end there. We faced the challenging task of uniting all those teams and creating one agency and one family. That is how iO was born.

A team at your disposal

A Waterland investment is never a coincidence. It is a well-thought-out, rational decision we make only after getting to know a company and its industry thoroughly. When we do decide to invest, we assemble a strong team that knows its way around the industry. That team is always available to assist entrepreneurs and leadership teams such as Pieter and his management team.

Because we care about our entrepreneurs and turning their ambitions into reality. That is why we are always available to guide, spar, give advice, share our analyses and be a sounding board in general. In this case, our approach made the rather complex challenge of merging a little under 30 international agencies with around 1,500 experts a complete success.

The result so far

Intracto has become iO: 12 innovative campuses in the Benelux, Bulgaria and the Nordics. It does exactly what Pieter intended it to do: offer an end-to-end solution in the fields of marketing, technology, content and creation, and strategy. And on top of that, it is a perfect place for talent to thrive and grow.

The marketing agency now supports its clients from A to Z. It has taken care of companies such as Proximus, Brussels Airport, Johnson & Johnson, and Audi. Clients’ responses tell us everything we need to know: iO is a true partner and helps its clients find marketing success.

Today, iO is a market leader in both Belgium and the Netherlands.

Get in touch!

Do you have similar ambitions to the ones Pieter had in 2018? Does your ambition stretch beyond that? Or would you like to know more about the way we work? Whatever your questions may be, contact us. We would be happy to help you on your way to sustainable success!