Dachis Group founder discusses Archrival acquisition, recent funding
Jeffrey Dachis visited the Archrival office on Thursday, January 6th. Photo by Danny Schreiber.
Do what you love, don’t do anything you don’t love. I’d be doing this whether I’m getting paid or not. This is the stuff I believe in, this is the stuff I’ve always wanted to do, this is the stuff that I’m passionate about, and if you stick to doing that, and do it faster and better than anyone else, then I think you’re going to find success.
Dachis Group, the world’s largest "social business" consultancy, acquired Lincoln-based Archrival on November 17, 2010. On his January 6th visit to Archrival, we spoke with Dachis to learn more about Dachis Group (founded in 2008), his company's vision, and how Archrival plays a part in it.
From Dachis Group’s perspective, Dachis told us that even though the terminology is acquisition, they don't view it as "acquiring" a company (of which, they've acquired seven). Instead, they look at it as creating a family, and they ask the companies they are working with to join the family. Dachis said it’s a big family of smart people who are passionate about what they do and who are really focused on creating something that is cool and unique. He wants their companies to have an effect on changing the world and deliver an enormous amount of value for their clients.
Dachis told us that a key reason for wanting to add Archrival as part of the Dachis Group family is that Archrival is known for its expertise and focus in the youth marketing segment, and it’s also known for its high quality Facebook preferred developer status.
"That youth centric expertise is really a core key differential for us, so it was exciting when we were able to find the Archrival guys and see how focused they were on this particular group of the world, and then on top of that, having all the chops, in mobile, and in social and being able to create really cool, creative stuff," Dachis said.
Archrival's office, located at 720 O Street in Lincoln. Photo by Danny Schreiber.
Dachis also explained how Archrival will be benefiting from the relationship and the three main phases of Dachis Group. The stage Archrival is in is a part of the first phase, adoption. In this phase the company starts to integrate and aggregate together. This phase has a lot of custom work and is very consultative. Second is the operational phase when they are operationalizing what they’ve been testing and trying. This phase will shift from largely professional services to some professional services aided by software or managed services. The third phase is when they are optimizing, and they’ll largely be software driven, because they’ll be looking for and analyzing data.
Dachis said that teams from across the globe are already starting to work together. "In the near term, Archrival will continue to offer Archrival services but as Archrival sees opportunities in clients, that needs to be met," said Dachis. "Ideally, Archrival has a 220-person set of resources behind it that it can offer to meet client’s needs. We think we have the right set of complimentary resources across the spectrum that are going to meet client’s needs and their demands this year."
On January 4, 2011, Dachis Group announced the completion of $30 million in Series B funding. There are plans to invest part of the capital into Archrival. "People have said, why Lincoln, Nebraska, that’s an odd place – well, not really, because look who we get, these guys are great.
"Archrival is going to look to grow its talent base as Archrival gets bigger and has a higher demand from clients for the types of services that it offers. With the Dachis Group behind it, it’s going to need more talent, so we’re hoping that some of the capital that we’ve raised and some of the great work that we’ve done here in Lincoln can attract and retain better talent.
“We’re a talent driven organization, I mean we want the best talent," said Dachis. "We’re looking for the smartest, fastest, brightest people. You kind of want to go wherever the talent is, or look for where the talent is and try to attract and retain them into our organization. So that’s our competitive advantage – our talent.”
Along with being a highly successful entrepreneur – Dachis co-founded Razorfish in 1995, which was later acquired by Microsoft – he and his wife recently had a baby. We asked him how he balances everything in his life and gets it all done. He answered with a smile, “My wife is very tolerant. There’s the natural tension between family and work and life, and I’m fortunate enough to have a strong system at home that supports what we do here, so I’m lucky. There’s a lot of video chatting, and there’s a strong support for doing what we both know is good for each other.”
Also evident is their support of each other on doing what they love outside of their home. In Jeffrey's case, continuing to build Dachis Group into the world’s largest "social business" consultancy, a mission in which Lincoln-based Archrival now plays an important role.
Learn more about Dachis Group's acquisition of Archrival in our November 17, 2010 article: "Archrival acquired by Dachis Group"