Bontouch join forces with Shape and Waterland to revolutionize the digital product agency landscape
Waterland is partnering with the premier digital product agencies in the Nordics—Bontouch in Sweden and Shape in Denmark—to build the leading international digital product agency. Together, the trio will pursue international expansion through acquisitions.
Bontouch is Sweden’s leading digital product agency, with 300 designers and engineers across five studios in Sweden, New York, and London. Over 50 million people use products built by Bontouch, including Swish, PostNord, SJ, SEB, H&M, Post-it, and more. Shape was established in 2010 and has a client roster that includes international heavyweights such as IKEA, Red Bull, and Credit Suisse, as well as a host of renowned Danish companies like Fitness World, Bang & Olufsen, OK a.m.b.a., Solar, Aller Media, and Novo Nordisk.
With Waterland’s investment, Bontouch and Shape form a strong platform for continued growth. While generalist consultancy firms have undergone extensive consolidation, it has been almost non-existent among digital product agencies. Waterland sees huge potential and intend to help Bontouch and Shape execute a successful buy-and-build strategy.
Bontouch was founded in 2010 by Pontus Axelsson and Martin Forsling. In 2022, Mayako Fagerfjäll, an 8-year veteran of the company, took over as CEO. Shape was founded in 2010 by Christian Risom, Nicolas Linde, Ole Gammelgaard Poulsen and Philip Bruce. In 2020, the daily responsibility for Shape was transferred to Kristian Duvald Friis, Søren Ulrikkeholm, Allan Aurelius and Villads Riber Mink. For the founders, this bold new plan represents an ambitious plan to bring their winning concept to the global arena, and have even greater impact.
Profitable every year since its inception, Bontouch has grown its revenues on average over 35% yearly, to more than SEK 350m in 2022. Bontouch products have received numerous prestigious accolades like App of the Year from Apple and Material Design Award from Google. Today, virtually 100% of the adult population of Sweden has at least two apps built by Bontouch on their phone.
Shape is one of the country’s leading digital consulting firms in terms of both annual growth and earnings. The development reflects that the market increasingly demands Shape’s end-to-end solutions, enabling the company to take an idea from a napkin sketch to a market-leading app through all processes from design, development, and a full roadmap for future additions. Shape has received more than 80 awards and recognitions in total, which corresponds to more than half of the developed apps having won awards and recognition.
“Bontouch and Shape are both leaders in a premium market segment that they helped create. Together they constitute the perfect platform for further growth and expansion. We have great confidence in the management and employees of both companies, and look forward to contributing with our rich expertise in building global market leaders”, says Kaspar Kristiansen, Managing Partner for Waterland Nordics.
No changes to the management or organization of Bontouch or Shape will be made, nor will existing customer relationships be affected. The parties have agreed not to disclose financial terms of the partnership.