C27 bags funding from Foetus International, to focus on key hires and R&D

Malaysian digital agency C27 has bagged an undisclosed amount of investment from communications network Foetus International (FI). In a statement to A+M, Fazil Fuad, CEO of C27 (pictured right), said the funds will be used as working capital for the agency to make key hires, develop existing internal functions, research and development, as well as product development.

C27 joins the list of agencies under FI including Naga DDB Tribal, Milk PR, Vogue Point and Ampersand Advisory. According to Fazil, the key value in this partnership is to share learnings and integrate the knowledge bases of the other agencies under FI. 

"We are excited to tap on the decades' worth of experience and pair it with our expertise on the latest digital platforms geared towards developing a future-proof agency model of the future. From FI's known reputation in brand strategy, media consulting and business development, [C27] will be able to provide well-rounded solutions for our clients while maintaining focus on the digital agenda," he added.

The investment comes after multiple collaborations between C27 and FI across various sectors such as banking, finance, media and entertainment. Fazil told A+M that the two firms have collaborated on training including leadership and digital development, and its partnership has been centered around the exchange of skill-sets and capabilities. He added that both parties are looking to pool resources as affiliated companies to target specific sets of clients, offering them a more diversified branding and digital communications service.

“We are humbled by the support of Foetus in our pursuit of developing products internally for the greater good. This is key towards our strategy to develop a competitive edge within the market as we are, at the end of the day, an independent outfit competing in a sea of global network giants," Fazil said.

C27 is a digital enablement firm led by Fuad, Michelle Koh, and Nicholas Hon. The company aspires to drive meaningful and sustainable change through strategic thinking, brand engagement, and user experience design. It currently works with both local and global brands such as Netflix, UMobile, Touch ’n Go Digital, MONIN.

(Read also: Meet C27's Fazil Fuad)

This year, C27 plans to roll out services that will further position itself away from run-of-the-mill agency. These services include digital payments and SME-focused digital marketing solutions. C27's objective for its SME-focused digital marketing solutions is to lower the barriers of entry of digital services and ensuring SMEs are equipped with customised tools, such as platform education, to be able to scale their efforts independently. Fazil told A+M that it is still under development, and C27 is working with multiple stakeholders who are providing core technologies that will power these solutions.

Besides these new services, the agency is also looking to continue to grow existing its functions in user experience design and branded content, as well as it video-creating Motion Reel business. Fazil said that C27 has partnered with experts in the digital industry and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation to enter the run for digital transformation labs for SMEs, adding that it has been working on it for about a year and will be launching it soon.

Meanwhile, Kristian Lee, group executive director at FI told A+M that its plans for 2020 includes integrating C27 into its operations and strategies to continue building its groups' capabilities and talent pool. Lee added that FI is excited to take the collaborative efforts of the two firms to the next level and demonstrate how sustained partnerships between different agencies can make a positive and progressive impact on the Malaysia marketing and communications industry.

“At Foetus International we are determined to grow our capabilities and services that we can offer to brands in Malaysia. As such we are always on the lookout for progressive and innovative companies that we can either partner up with or add on to our stable of communications agencies. C27 represents a young, hungry, curious and driven entity made out of skilled individuals and seasoned leadership figures in the digital space," Lee added.

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