Singapore's social media marketing company Gushcloud in multi-million dollar deal

Singapore's social media marketing company Gushcloud in multi-million dollar deal
The Gush Cloud team.

SINGAPORE - A homegrown company, that was involved in a negative marketing campaign by Singapore Telecommunications Limited (Singtel), is in the limelight again.

Korean digital media agency, Yello Digital Marketing (YDM) Group, has acquired a majority stake in the Singapore-based Gushcloud in that reflects the growing importance of content and influencer marketing in Asia.

Gushcloud recently came under fire for a negative ad campaign it ran for Singtel in June last year. It had allegedly issued a brief to a network of bloggers, who are social media influencers, to write poor reviews about rival telcos M1 Limited (M1) and StarHub Mobile Pte Ltd (StarHub).  Following the incident, several bloggers severed ties and clients clarified their position with the digital marketing agency.

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) had issued a stern warning to Singtel for its role in the negative marketing campaign created by Gushcloud. Both Singtel and Gushcloud had apologised for disparaging M1 and StarHub. 

The majority acquisition of Gushcloud announced today is expected to see its business expand in the region. Gushcloud employs 80 people in offices in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Mr Vincent Ha, Gushcloud Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, and Ms Alethea Lim, Chief Revenue Officer, will retain a significant minority shareholding and will take on strategic roles within YDM, in particular, spearheading its Southeast Asian expansion plans for content/influencer marketing.

Mr Ha said: "We are truly excited to become part of the YDM group. Their vision to build Southeast Asia's number one digital media and marketing company is completely aligned with ours. Sharing, learning and growing are core tenets of the YDM family and are values that Althea and I believe in.

"YDM is creating a group that can provide the full suite of digital strategy, marketing and creative services across mobile media and social networks. A key pillar in its vision for service offerings includes viral and content marketing."

YDM said it will shift its Southeast Asian headquarters to Singapore after the Gushcloud deal, to house up to 200 employees in a new office in the Central Business District. YDM is part of Yello Mobile group, which comprises more than 70 companies specialising in shopping media, digital apps, content advertising and marketing, online travel and offline to online services.

YDM is Yello Mobile group's advertising and digital marketing division offering online and offline marketing services to more than 5,000 clients in five countries. Gushcloud is an influencer and content marketing group founded in 2011 by Singapore entrepreneurs Ha and Lim, both young entrepreneurs with experience in advertising, video production, and youth event marketing.

chenj@sph.com.sg

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