Dept Acquires Digital Design Agency Basic

By Erik Oster 

One of Adweek’s Fastest Growing Agencies for 2020 is expanding with an acquisition.

Dept, an Amsterdam-based digital creative, technology and data agency with offices in 13 countries across Europe and the Americas, is expanding its services and reach with the acquisition of digital branding and design agency Basic.

During around a decade in business, Basic has grown to around 120 employees across offices in San Diego, San Francisco and St. Louis. Basic has worked with clients including Apple, Airbnb, Google, KFC and Patagonia, expanding a Dept client roster that includes Bose, Formula E, Netflix, Samsung and Triumph Motorcycles. The acquisition is Dept’s first in the U.S. since receiving backing from investment firm Carlyle Group. Dept also recently acquired Swiss agency Hinderling Volkart and Danish strategic design agency Sorthvid.


“Our goal is to build the best agency in the world. One of the key steps in achieving that goal is to build a leading agency in the U.S. that helps our clients further build and accelerate their digital business,” Dept CEO Dimi Albers (pictured, left) said in a statement. “After making a strong start in technology with our Rocket Insights team, we were looking for the best digital experience and eCommerce design agency out there to join us on our journey and form the heart of Dept in the U.S. Basic is rapidly growing while working for some of the biggest brands in the world, and shares our cultural values when it comes to running a people business. Simply put: it’s a perfect match.”

Going forward, Basic will operate under the leadership of its founder and CEO Matt Faulk (pictured, right); vp, creative Steve Denekas; vp, strategy Ryan Parkhurst; and vp, operations Ashley Reichel.

“Basic exists to solve challenges for brands we believe in. In a digital-led world, our expertise in customer experience strategy, digital products, and eCommerce has helped these brands to thrive and move fast. Now, as more people rely more on digital platforms in the face of the pandemic, they have greater potential than ever to shift perceptions and drive cultural conversations,” Basic CEO Matt Faulk said in a statement. “Joining Dept greatly strengthens this positioning by bringing data and technology into the mix. We see our agency as a place for our shared values to collide. In Dept, we’ve found a partner that boosts our entrepreneurial spirit with the global scale and service expansion that both our clients and people are looking for in the world of today.”