Last fall, former AKQA Global Chief Creative Officer Rei Inamoto and New York Managing Director Rem Reynolds departed the shop to open not a new ad agency, but what they described as a "business invention studio" that focused on design, data, technology and digital transformation. Its goals were to create its own intellectual property and work closely with clients on evolving their businesses in those areas.
Today Mr. Inamoto has announced more details about the company, revealing that Digital Garage, a Tokyo- and San Francisco-headquartered tech investment firm is its financial and strategic partner. Founded in 1994 by President and Group CEO Kaoru Hayashi and Joi Ito, the company is perhaps best known for investing in Twitter back in 2008 and, more recently, in digital media studio Betaworks. It's also backed LinkedIn and Kiip.
The financial support isn't the only asset it brings. Digital Garage also has a strategic partnership with famed tech innovation incubator MIT Media Lab, where Mr. Ito now serves as director. "Having MIT as a potential future talent pipe seemed like a good channel to have," said Mr. Inamoto.
Mr. Inamoto did not disclose how much investment Inamoto & Co has received from Digital Garage, but said that the shop will operate independently and that he and Mr. Reynolds are majority owners.