Shadowboxer brings in ex-Isobar GM for second venture, web studio Southpaw

Creative consultancy and venture studio, Shadowboxer has launched a new tech web business, Southpaw, a specialist business focusing on leveraging composable architecture to create scalable, flexible, and robust web experiences, Mumbrella can reveal.

Brought in to lead the new venture business is ex-Isobar general manager, Ant Mangos, the business has been in operation for six months in “stealth mode”, as hinted to Mumbrella last month, with a handful of clients already on board, a team of eight, and a more-than $2m business pipeline.

Steve McGrath, Ant Mangos, and Konrad Spilva.

It also pulls from Shadowboxer’s early-stage venture clients, while also looking to more established businesses that are in search of more flexible technology solutions. Southpaw will work closely alongside Shadowboxer on new business opportunities while remaining a separate business “allowing it to draw on expertise in brand, product strategy and venture design”. 

This is the second business services venture from Shadowboxer in its short lifespan, having co-launched Ryancap’s Tightrope Consulting last year. 

Mangos, who has the title of founding partner, spent ten years at Isboar, working alongside Shadowboxer founding partners, leaving last year. His career spans roles in strategy, digital experiences and tech.

He said that Southpaw is “all about bringing back the magic to web technology”.

“There is a clear need in-market for more flexible, scalable and unique web experiences, as businesses move away from monolithic tech. A lot of platforms have become stale, generic and soulless – it’s become a paint-by-numbers exercise. We believe that technology should free a brand to be itself. Not force it to be like everyone else.

“We offer our clients best-of-breed tech solutions that are right for their business, delivering value quickly, with the ability to grow and evolve as their business does.”

Mangos continued: “Building a business for a post-Covid world, free of holding group constraints has been a lot of fun. We like to think of ourselves as a bit unorthodox, stripping back unnecessary layers, processes and activities to focus solely on how we provide value to clients. This has led to us attracting an incredible team and a fantastic lineup of clients and partners.”

Launched two years ago by former Isobar CEO, Konrad Spilva, and his partners Stephen Graham, Mike Fraser, Tom Ashmor, and Steve McGrath, Shadowboxer recently celebrated its second birthday, speaking to Mumbrella about the business’ progress to date. 

Part of the Shadowboxer founding team, Mike Fraser, Stephen Graham, and Spilva

In the last 12 months, the business has grown from seven to 28 permanent staff and recently placed its first boots on the ground in San Francisco, with entry into a third market, Manchester shortly on its way. Over the last year, Shadowboxer said its investment back into the start-up ecosystem has totalled around the $1 million mark.

Co-founder and managing partner at Shadowboxer, Konrad Spilva said on the launch: “Whilst Shadowboxer have doubled down on early-stage venture strategy, design and software, we’ve still had a heap of great web platform briefs come in from prospective and current clients, so it’s nice to now be working with a team of specialists at Southpaw who are laser-focused on being the absolute best at exactly that for clients. Knowing your niche, and owning it, is something we believe in at Shadowboxer and Southpaw is a great example of that philosophy.”

“It’s also great to be reunited with Ant again, having worked together for over 10 years at Visual Jazz / Isobar,” Spilva continued. “With his experience, Southpaw has already raced out of the blocks and created a lot of value for its foundational team, its fantastic clients and the wider Shadowboxer group of businesses on the whole.”

Southpaw said it expects to have more announcements in the coming weeks and months.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.