*FEATURE: Why Would an Irvine Digital Media Company Buy a Luxury Watch Brand? To Diversify Into E-Commerce…

Why would a company that does social media campaigns for brands backed by celebrities and influencers buy a luxury watch company?

For Chase Wimberly, founder and CEO of Future Media in Irvine, that was a simple decision.

His background is in M&A.

“I’m always thinking about how to grow a business by acquiring other assets,” he told OC Startups Now.

So he acquired Oak and Jackal, a fast-fashion watch company geared toward millennials, which promotes all its products on social media. Fast fashion is a term used by fashion retailers for designs that quickly move from the catwalk to capture current fashion trends.

The acquisition served his goal to diversify Future Media, beyond being just a service provider.

“If we acquire another company that is in e-commerce, we can diversify, and generate revenue from customers buying products directly from Future Media,” he said.

The D2C space is “doing really well,” he said, especially in the areas Future Media is already familiar with.

The skills its employees already use to create social media campaigns is the same skill set as selling watches, he said.

“Rather than sell those services to other brands, we can own our brand and sell our own products,” he said. “We know how to market on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.”

The company has already completed campaigns and consulted for companies like Universal Music Group, Live Nation, Amazon and luxury watch company, MVMT.

MVMT was acquired for $100 million last year by Movado Group.Prior to that acquisition, Future Media provided consulting services for MVMT, using influencers to promote its watches on Instagram and YouTube.

“I looked at the growth in the watch category and it made total sense (to buy Oak & Jackal),” he said.

Oak & Jackal

Chris Shaw, a twenty-something musician at the time, from Australia created Oak & Jackal, and launched a Kickstarter campaign for it in 2016. That campaign raised more than $16,000.

With the funding goal obtained, Shaw officially launched Oak & Jackal and ran it for a few years, before moving on.

Wimberly declined to disclose how much he acquired Oak & Jackal for.

More About Future Media
Other clients include rapper 50 Cent; actor Dimitrius Shipp; Genevive Morton, a former Sports Illustrated model; and Khloe Kardashian.

Wimberly worked with Morton and Kardashian to spread positive messages on social media about body image and dealing with depression.

“One of the missions of Future Media is spreading positive messages because there’s way too much negativity in social media,” Wimberly said. “Negativity goes viral. But positive stories can go viral too, there’s just not enough out there.”

Why OC?

While Future Media is based in Irvine, most of its clients are in LA and NYC.

Wimberly said he prefers OC because he grew up here and he’s been able to do M&A in the digital media realm remotely for the last 10 to 12 years, for the most part.

“I wanted to stay here,” he said. “I’ve bought companies all over the world from right here in OC.”

He prefers to raise his family here as well.

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

You don't have permission to register