IQ News: Heads Up – Avalanche Rolls Into Razorfish




Three months after Razorfish acquired a majority stake in fellow New York new media company Avalanche Solutions, the two firms have merged into one entity, Razorfish Inc. Terms were not disclosed.
The new company, with nearly 100 employees, officially starts operations today, with the former Avalanche employees moving into the two-floor loft space Razorfish has in SoHo.
“It will be one brand, one management team, one focus,” said Jeff Dachis, president and chief executive officer of Razorfish.
Peter Seidler, chairman and chief creative officer of Avalanche, becomes chief creative officer of Razorfish, and Troy Tyler, Avalanche’s executive vice president, chief operating officer, serves as executive vice president of the new company. Razorfish’s current management team will remain in place.
The new entity, with an estimated $12 million in combined revenues, creates a larger company for Razorfish stakeholder Communicade Group, a division of Omnicom Group, New York. The move is part of an expansion plan, with additional offices expected to open both in the United States and Europe.
Razorfish clients include CBS, Charles Schwab, and the Smithsonian Institution. Avalanche brings Casio, Carnegie Hall, NBC, and others to the venture. Dachis said the merged company would seek new clients focused on business solutions, not advertising.
Seidler anticipates a smooth transition. “We’ve been working with Razorfish closely on a number of projects and on strategy,” he said, adding, “We’re going to have a lot more resources to serve our clients.”
Razorfish also has an entertainment arm, Razorfish Studios, and a Razorfish Subnetwork of original content.
The Avalanche name could find a home in a similar forum. “We plan to do something very creative with the Avalanche brand,” Dachis said, though he wouldn’t give details.
While several new media companies have partnered with non-Internet companies strictly to obtain capital, Dachis sees the merger of Razorfish and Avalanche as a union of talent.
“The whole run-amok financing thing is fine,” he said, but he described the merger as “the best talent, the best people, getting together.”