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The Mars Agency Partners with Mountaingate Capital

15 May 2021

The Mars Agency, a global commerce marketing agency, has received a substantial equity investment by Denver-based middle market private equity firm, Mountaingate Capital.

The Mars Agency logo

Founded in 1972, The Mars Agency has experienced tremendous growth since inception and has earned a stellar reputation as a leader in shopper conversion, retail intelligence, technology solutions and as a top place to work. The Mars Agency serves an impressive client roster of globally recognized and industry-leading brands. With a growing team of more than 500 employees spread across three continents, The Mars Agency is partnering with Mountaingate to accelerate growth organically as well as through selective strategic acquisitions to better serve its clients.

The Mars Agency will continue to operate as an independent agency with the same level of agility and client centricity, and this new equity funding will allow The Mars Agency to build out capabilities, strengthen its offering and further the development of the company’s proprietary commerce technology platform, Marilyn®.

The entire Mars Agency leadership team will remain intact across the domestic and international offices. Both Ken Barnett and Rob Rivenburgh, together with members of the senior leadership team, will continue as equity owners in the partnership. Ken Barnett will remain Executive Chairman and Rob Rivenburgh will be elevated to Global CEO. Additionally, Darren Keen remains as CEO, International Markets, responsible for the agency’s continued operational expansion outside of North America.

“We have an industry-leading track record of passionately innovating and bringing cutting edge solutions forward to our clients and to the market. This gives us the financial backing to continue to do that even faster through innovation and acquisition,” said Mr. Barnett. “Fueling our growth allows us to lead, retain and attract the best talent, innovate, and offer the most powerful solutions and ideas to our valued clients globally.”

The Mars Agency leadership team carefully and thoughtfully chose this equity partner because Mountaingate is aligned with the company’s core values and has tremendous experience accelerating technology enabled solutions. Mountaingate has invested extensively in the data and technology driven marketing services industry and has a proven process and team to complement The Mars Agency leadership group.

Furthermore, this investment allows The Mars Agency to operate independently, maintaining its agility,”intrapreneurialism” and growth-minded culture to continue to optimally serve and partner with its clients — a stringent component in The Mars Agency selection criteria.

“Mountaingate’s extensive experience helping businesses of our size to scale within the commerce marketing industry and alignment with The Mars Agency’s purpose of driving growth for our clients, our people and our community made Mountaingate the perfect partner for us,” said Mr. Rivenburgh. “We are thrilled to have their support and are very excited about this next chapter of growth.”

The Mars Agency is an award-winning, independently owned global commerce marketing practice with a growth-for-clients focus. With talent spanning the Americas, Europe and Asia, they create breakthrough, connected commerce solutions by balancing the smartest humanity with the latest technology. Their latest MarTech platform, Marilyn® is the first and only end-to-end commerce advisor.

Mountaingate Capital is a leading buy-and-build focused middle market private equity firm based in Denver, CO, and was named one of the Top 50 best Private Equity Firms for Founder-Owned Businesses by Inc Magazine in 2019 and 2020. Learn more at

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