Manifest Digital set for soaring growth

Manifest Digital will move to the forefront of Chicago’s marketing agencies since receiving a $9 million investment from BIA Digital Partners of Chantilly, Va., a private investment firm providing junior capital to mid-sized companies in the entertainment and IT sectors.

Manifest Digital enjoyed 100% growth last year and was looking for investments that would provide a buffer against rising operational costs.

“We were almost victims of our own success,” says Jim Jacoby, 39-year old Manifest’s founder and Chief Experience Officer.

“We needed this relationship to stabilize the very basics. In effect, it solves what was a good problem to have.”

“BIA is great for us because they are familiar with our business and the big changes happening in the media industry,” says Jacoby. “They’ll provide another level of networking for us as well.”

The deal was set up through Jim Childs, Managing Partner of Childs Advisory Partners, an Atlanta-based investment banking and strategic consulting services firm.

Manifest and Childs conducted a year-long search for the right partner before agreeing to subordinated debt financing with BIA Digital.

As a result of the deal, BIA’s principal Scott Chappell will join Manifest’s board as director.

“Scott has excellent domain experience and is on the board of a number of entertainment and tech companies,” says Jacoby. “That’s really going to help us as we continue to expand and decide who to partner with in the future.

“In this market, growth is going to come from being stable first, and in being strong and having momentum coming out of the downturn,” however long that may be, he adds.

Despite the economy, Manifest continues to reap profits, and recently moved its staff of 60 to new 12,000-sq. ft. facilities at 600 W. Chicago Ave.