LONDON – The Weber Shandwick Collective (TWSC) has acquired Diverse Interactive, an agency specialising in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology. The move enables the business to expand its technical capabilities into extended reality (XR).

Diverse Interactive was founded in the UK in 2014 by Ben Fryer (pictured, left) and Jake Warren-Simpson (second right) to develop immersive experiences across sectors including retail, events, and education. The two founders will join TWSC’s digital transformation agency, Flipside, as will the rest of the 12-strong team.

Flipside’s group managing director Marcus Dyer (pictured, second left) will continue in his role, leading the newly-combined team alongside Phil Hakim (right), Flipside’s group director.

The move is Weber Shandwick’s first UK acquisition since 2018, when it bought social media agency That Lot – also now part of The Weber Shandwick Collective along with Flipside and management consultancy United Minds.

Fryer said: “Our shared passion for delivering innovation and technology through digital transformation and a shared vision for the future of XR and the metaverse led us to this exciting opportunity. The spatial content revolution and the next generation of the internet are upon us. We’re wasting no time in working with our clients to help adopt this incredible space and are already architecting a host of immersive experiences that I know will captivate audiences across the globe.”

Flipside was acquired by Weber Shandwick in 2016 and works with clients on digital transformation, digital product development, reporting and analytics. The combined offer with Diverse Interactive will now include VR, AR, metaverse, immersive learning and virtual production.

Dyer said: “We have admired Diverse Interactive’s ground-breaking work in extended reality from afar, so it’s cracking to have them join the family. Diverse Interactive’s people, performance and capabilities fit into our future vision for the business. We are proud to be adding their significant technical bench strength to Flipside’s offering, allowing us to expand our services in the rapidly growing AR and VR market.”

The Weber Shandwick Collective’s global chief transformation officer and EMEA CEO Michael Frohlich added: “The move to acquire Diverse Interactive represents a bold step into the metaverse. We remain focused on building out our capabilities to deliver both immediate impact and sustainable value for our clients – and this acquisition allows us to do just that. The shared vision and passion within this business can only continue to propel us into the next stage of our growth story.”