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Albemarle-headquartered WillowTree sold for $1.225 billion

Insignia Capital Group will sell its majority interest in Woolen Mills-headquartered app creator WillowTree to TELUS International for $1.225 billion, officials announced Thursday.

The deal is anticipated to close in January and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

New owner TELUS International designs, builds and delivers generation digital solutions to enhance customer experience, including artificial intelligence applications.

WillowTree was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Albemarle County. The company provides beginning-to-end marketing services from strategy, design and development. Its roster of clients includes Fortune 500 companies in telecommunications and media, healthcare and life sciences, financial services, and technology and software.

Insignia Capital Group invested in WillowTree in 2018. Since then, the company has quadrupled revenue and grown from locations in Virginia and North Carolina to 13 offices and studios across three continents.

WillowTree and Insignia made significant investments in their own organization and bought several companies that allowed them to increase their scope and reach.

The moves accelerated the company’s growth and strengthened its market positioning.

In 2019 WillowTree and Insignia acquired Dynamit Technologies, of Ohio, a move that combined the local company’s expertise in mobile, voice and user experience software with Dynamit’s similar expertise in business applications.

The acquisition gave WillowTree an estimated 500 employees with offices in Columbus, Ohio; Durham, North Carolina; and Brooklyn, New York.

The combined company continued designing front-end applications for companies and expanded applications in financial services, media, utilities, hospitality and employee-facing mobile and web applications.

WillowTree is a leader in media delivery, loyalty programs, payments and connected devices and works with clients that have included Synchrony Financial, 21st Century Fox, PepsiCo, American Express, Regal Cinemas and National Geographic.

Dynamit’s focus was on serving clients in hospitality, restaurants, technology and public utilities.

“It has been an honor to partner with the world-class team at WillowTree during a period of transformative growth over the last four years. Management’s execution of the strategic plan we envisioned at the outset of our partnership has been truly exceptional,” said Tony Broglio, Partner at Insignia Capital Group.

“The team at Insignia were outstanding partners during a critical period of explosive growth, and we are grateful for their insight, support, and commitment to our vision,” said Tobias Dengel, CEO of WillowTree. “We believe the best is yet to come for WillowTree, and we’re excited to execute on the major opportunities ahead with TELUS International.”

Canaccord Genuity served as exclusive financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Davis & Gilbert LLP served as legal counsel to Insignia Capital and WillowTree.


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