Exopolis Anew

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From left: Daniel Arcana, Kat Egan and Matt Hovis
From left: Daniel Arcana, Kat Egan and Matt Hovis

Digital creative agency Exopolis has shifted gears. The company now boasts a streamlined new structure, a new owner and added heft to its creative leadership team. Exopolis announced today that it has been acquired by Austin Ventures. The fund management company focuses on the technology and service industries, and recently has been keen on expanding into the digital agency arena. Just prior to the acquisition Exopolis had joined forces with the creative strategy division of Austin-based Action Figure. As part of the merger, Action Figure founder Matt Hovis has been named CCO of Exopolis, joining the shop's founders/partners Kat Egan and Daniel Arcana.

The merged company will retain the Exopolis name, while Action Figure will continue as a production/postproduction shop. Both companies had previously worked together on strategy projects for The History Channel, PureBar and Microsoft.

"We realized if we joined forces, we'd be able to offer clients not only the digital services Exopolis has been doing for 10 years, but additional capabilities in live-action production and content creation, technology and IP," says Arcana. "We've also always had an affinity and respect for the creative work coming out of Austin so expanding into that market is very exciting."

Exopolis retains a talent base of directors, animators, tech specialists, strategists and producers in L.A. and N.Y., but will now have an office in Austin, Texas, where Hovis will remain. The company's business model has now been restructured for "efficiency, nimbleness and specialized execution," says Arcana. Every job awarded will first be reviewed by the company's "Creative Council," a multidisciplinary crew of senior creatives and strategists, who will be responsible for idea generation and concepting, with an eye toward cross-platfrom solutions.

The Council will then assign production and creative leads to the project, who will then hire out independent talents from around the world—or "Special Forces"—to execute.

"Though our company has always been primarily focused on emerging media applications, our corporate structure had been relatively traditional, which, for us, included a fairly significant internal headcount," Arcana says. "As many creative agencies in our space have seemingly realized, each new opportunity these days requires a combination of generalist strategy and specialized execution. These projects aren't always best based on who you may have available in-house at any given time. Our new structure keeps us much more nimble and our execution more focused."

Rhapsody before (top) and after
Rhapsody before (top) and after

Under this new structure, Exopolis has launched a rebrand and multispot television campaign for Rhapsody, which was in need of a new identity after it was spun off from Real Networks and Viacom. The shop also recently completed an internal project for the Windows Gaming Group at Microsoft, a three-minute inspiration piece that demonstrates virtual life of the future.

Going forward, Egan says Exopolis is primarily focused with building out its team of independent specialists but is also looking to solidify its hub in Seattle and build out its New York presence.

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