Equiteq is pleased to have advised Zebu, a web3 and emerging technologies-focused marketing collective on its sale to Flight Story, a digital marketing and communications company. The acquisition of Zebu and its conference, Zebu Live, has launched a new division of Flight Story called Flight3 – an arm catering to marketing innovation.
UK-based brothers Harry and Jolyon Layard Horsfall founded Zebu alongside Henry Hankin in 2021 as a reaction to the digital disruption erupting during the pandemic. Web3 and blockchain boomed, and many companies did not know how to keep up. To support brands in the evolving digital landscape, Harry, Jolyon, and Henry built Zebu, forming a 30-person team that accelerates web3 projects working with brands including Solana, Tezos, OKX, and NEAR.
Flight Story keeps brands at the forefront of what’s possible. Founded by Steven Bartlett (thirdweb co-founder, BBC Dragon’s Den & Diary of a CEO podcast host) and Oliver Yonchev (former Social Chain MD), Flight Story offers a range of services - including strategy, content, communications, and media - for brands that want to lean into new opportunities. Flight Story’s services include R. Agency (a communications agency), Flight Performance (performance marketing), Flight Studio (a creative studio), Flight Deck (a social listening tool), and now Flight3 (its innovation arm).
The acquisition of Zebu strengthens Flight Story’s services and capabilities in web3, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Virtual Reality (VR) strategy, content, comms, and media, with a specific focus on supporting brands in the innovation, web3, and emerging technology spaces.
The new Flight3 division of Flight Story will focus on providing web3-focused community growth, influencer marketing, social media, content marketing, brand design & animation, PR, and live events. Zebu Live, the brand’s web3 conference, will remain a core part of the Flight3 offering.
Steven Bartlett, Co-founder of Flight Story commented: “‘Web 3.0’ includes AI, Machine Learning and blockchain technology. The total market valuation of the metaverse is forecasted to be $678bn by 2030, per Grand View Research, and ‘web 3.0’ is already on its way to becoming a multi-trillion-dollar industry. Flight Story endeavors to be the most advanced marketing agency in the world. To do that, we need people who are native to the technology that the future will be built on. That’s why Zebu is the perfect addition to the Flight Story team – they further our mission of keeping brands at the very forefront of what’s possible.”
Flight Story CEO Oliver Yonchev added: “During a time of fast growth within the Flight Story business, we are excited to be launching Flight3 as part of our Flight Story ecosystem. The company perfectly embodies our values, and the new team will strengthen Flight Story’s expertise in community building and new technologies.”
Harry Horsfall, CEO of newly formed Flight3 said: “Since we met Steven and Oliver, we instantly connected on our excitement for the changing digital landscape. We can’t wait to become fully embedded and integrate into Flight Story’s marketing and communication services.”
Regarding Equiteq’s role in the transaction, Harry Horsfall, Co-Founder of Zebu / CEO of Flight3 said: "Paul has been a trusted business advisor to myself and Jolyon for years – way before Zebu was created. Paul and the team at Equiteq had the experience, expertise, and insights to get Zebu to this next stage of our growth journey. It’s our passion to help brands navigate this new world of technology and we’re excited to keep doing it on a larger scale with Flight Story.”
Paul Collins, Founder & Chairman of Equiteq added: “The Zebu founders have a long history in Crypto and have been at the forefront of Web3 and blockchain technology from the beginning. We’ve known brothers, Harry, and Jolyon Layard Horsfall, since before they started innovating with Crypto in 2014. We were delighted to advise them on their acquisition by Steven Bartlett and Oliver Yonchev’s Flight Story. We can’t think of a better home for them to lead and scale Zebu, now Flight3, the new innovation arm of Flight Story. I wish them both the best of luck for the future.”
About Flight Story
Flight Story is a digital marketing and communications company that keeps brands at the forefront of what’s possible. Founded by Steven Bartlett (thirdweb co-founder, BBC Dragon’s Den & Diary of a CEO podcast host) and Oliver Yonchev, Flight Story offers a range of services - including strategy, content, communications, and media - for brands that want to lean into new opportunities. Flight Story’s services include R. Agency (a communications agency), Flight Performance (performance marketing), Flight Studio (a creative studio), Flight 3 (its innovation arm), and Flight Deck (a social listening tool).
About Steven Bartlett
From a bedroom in Manchester, this 21-year-old university drop-out built what would become one of Europe’s most influential social media companies. Steven is an entrepreneur, investor, public speaker, author, and host of the most streamed podcast recorded in Europe: 'The Diary of a CEO'. In 2021, Steven became the youngest-ever dragon on BBC 1's Dragons’ Den. He’s a board member and investor in Huel, the co-founder of ‘thirdweb’ a shopify backed software company, the co-founder of Flight Story, and the founder of a new fund called Flight Story Fund. Steven is particularly focused on inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs and creators from a BAME background. At just 30 years old, he is widely considered one of Europe’s best-known entrepreneurs.
About Oliver Yonchev
Oliver is an entrepreneur, speaker, and CEO of Flight Story, which he co-founded with Steven Bartlett. Previously Oliver was Managing Director of Social Chain AG, a world-leading social media and e-commerce company. The company grew from a UK start-up to a 1000+ employee, $750m+ revenue business that operated across 21 locations. For a decade, Oliver has been at the forefront of digital marketing and transformation, helping guide the management teams of many of the world's most successful companies including Amazon, Apple, Coca-Cola, TikTok, Twitch, Apple, Disney & Uber to name just a few.
About Harry Horsfall
Harry Horsfall is a serial entrepreneur and web3 innovator, with over a decade of experience in the space. Harry has an industry track record going back to the very inception of blockchain technology and is a proven pioneer, having established, built, and scaled a number of web3 enterprises which have made a tremendous impact to the overall ecosystem. As an advisor and thought leader in the web3 space, Harry is keenly interested in all aspects of the blockchain discourse, in particular how NFTs and DeFi innovation drive mainstream adoption of the world’s newest asset class and burgeoning tech stack.
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