Smile x Virtua


Smile announces the acquisition of the Swiss digital agency Virtua with the support of Eurazeo PME.

Smile, the European leader in open source digital technology, has acquired Virtua, a renowned digital agency in Romandy, the French-speaking region of Switzerland (ranked no. 1 in Romandy and 8th in Switzerland by the Swiss association Leading Swiss Agencies in 2017). This is Smile’s first major external growth transaction since Eurazeo PME’s initial investment in the company in May 2017.

Created in 1998, Virtua is a pioneer digital agency in Switzerland drawing on 60 highly motivated and enthusiastic talents to design, create and manage digital strategies and projects while adopting a customer-focused approach. The company proposes an integrated digital offering (Strategy & Consulting, Brand Content, Digital Systems, Marketing Performance, Hosting & Security) designed to focus on the most ambitious and innovative projects based on open source technologies. Virtua, a leading player, has won the confidence of prestigious customers over several years.

The new Virtua/Smile alliance is aiming to become the digital leader in the region within 3 years. By combining their respective expertise, this merger will gradually create synergies for the customers of both companies – major Swiss and international accounts – and provide them with more comprehensive support at each stage of their digital transformation (consulting, digital agency, development & integration, maintenance, training and outsourcing) across the group’s four core businesses: Digital/E-business, Business Apps, Infrastructure and Embedded/IoT.

This acquisition is fully in line with Smile’s growth strategy and will extend its international reach as well as boost its consulting offer. Smile plans to reach 100 million euros in sales in 2018.

According to Marc Palazon, Chairman of Smile: “We’re delighted that we can speed up the roll-out of Open Arrow, our strategic plan, by expanding our current teams while drawing on recognized and enthusiastic new talents. Our industrial and business synergies are self-evident. I‘m convinced that this acquisition will create considerable value for our customers and a wealth of opportunities for the employees of both companies. The fact that we share numerous common values, such as the benefits provided by open source and digital technology, should help us to work closely together.”

Virtua founder Yannick Burky stated: “With Smile, we’re convinced that Virtua can ramp up its growth and reach a new milestone. By combining Smile’s know-how and leadership with Virtua’s reputation and expertise, we’ll create a new leader in the Swiss digital technology industry. Together our teams will propose a more comprehensive service offering to match the growing demand of our customers in digital innovation.”

The new group in Switzerland will be headed by Christophe Pellier, currently Director of Smile in Switzerland, supported by the Virtua management team.