Studiospace launches; brands have direct access to independent hotshops, revolutionising holdco model

Studiospace, the first online marketplace for creative, digital and marketing services, has officially launched into the Australian and UK markets. The tech platform connects big brands to the best independent agencies around the world.

Studiospace has secured $2.5m in a VC funding round led by Fuel Ventures for the major expansion. Australia’s biggest brands can now directly access top indie specialists from around the world to deliver their digital and marketing projects. In return, independent creative, digital and marketing agencies can now access brands that were previously beyond reach.

The move follows nine months of successful beta testing across the UK and Australia. Brands including Jaguar Land Rover, TAL, Aviva and Gala Games are already on board and working with the 100-strong roster of specialist agencies that span 16 service categories across 12 countries.

Studiospace co-founder Robin Scarborough – Australia MD and Kate Walker – GM client services

The business is helmed locally by co-founder and Australia managing director, Robin Scarborough, and Kate Walker, general manager of client services. Scarborough was a founding team member at Market Gravity, the global innovation agency acquired by Deloitte Digital in 2017. Robin moved from the UK to Australia following the acquisition, spending three years as a partner at Deloitte Digital.

Scarborough explained: “Big businesses have a talent access problem, even if they don’t realise it yet.

“The marketing landscape has evolved immensely in the last 50 years, but the way we buy and sell services for it hasn’t. As needs have become more complex, bundled arrangements with holding companies and big consultancies have become the default because of simple, single supplier relationships.

“However, the problem is that a lot of the deep specialism, innovation and big thinking now sits within independent agencies all around the world. It’s hard for big businesses to easily find the best agencies for their projects, and often even harder to quickly contract them as a new supplier.

“Studiospace was born to solve this conundrum and the success we’ve achieved in such a short period is proof it’s working. Over 70 projects in just nine months with budgets up to $2million and now further venture capital backing. We’re re-imagining the holding company model for the digital era.”

Shiv Patel, investment director at Fuel Ventures added: “Having seen Studiospace’s growth since they began trading at the start of this year, we were delighted to have the opportunity to invest in such an exciting business.

“The management team have exceptional experience both within the industry and also through having successfully scaled and exited a previous business.

“This coupled with the major brands which have been using the platform already made a compelling investment case for us. We look forward to working closely with Studiospace in the coming years to ensure the company’s continued success.”

For brands, Studiospace provides access to a global community of agencies through a single umbrella contract. The smart platform matches briefs to the best candidate agencies and Studiospace underwrites the quality of every agency’s work.

For agencies, joining Studiospace opens up access to a huge breadth of new clients, while also massively reducing their cost of sales through its streamlined matching and selection process. Additionally, the platform alleviates cash flow uncertainty by paying agencies on the day they invoice.

Walker previously founded boutique brand agency Human, and also led the delivery of bespoke agency team models for WPP’s largest clients across Australia and New Zealand.

She added: “We really understand the pressure points for agencies and are hugely inspired to create a genuine alternative that works. One that helps them play a bigger game and build scale without the drag.

“We’re not pitch doctors, we don’t influence the selection process, but we are obsessive about discovering and bringing the very best indie talent to our platform and clients. It’s a win-win.”

To learn more about this revolutionary marketplace visit

Mumbrella spoke with Scarborough and Walker about the new launch.

Walker and Scarborough

How will Studiospace be a better solution for both independent agencies and clients?

Now the industry is stuck in the 1950s in terms of how brands are able to access talent – more often than not, they’re bound into contracts with holding companies or consultancies which are inflexible. That solution was fine up to a few years ago, but as the industry and marketers’ needs have become more complex it’s no longer fit for purpose for either side.

After all, what are the chances the best talent is in that narrow slice of the industry they can access through that contract? As we’ve seen in the past couple of years some of the very best talent in the industry has gone out on their own and set up boutique businesses – these are the real trailblazers. You must look at the recent Mumbrella Awards to see how indie agencies are dominating across all the areas which really matter for brands today.

What Studiospace does is remove the barriers blocking big businesses and smaller agencies from working together by assuming the risk and guaranteeing the projects’ success. This opens opportunities to work with talent anywhere in the world – meaning marketers are able to access the very best talent for the projects they have.

● Access to the access to big brands and briefs that would otherwise be beyond their reach because they are often unable to access big brand work because of the procurement requirements
● No pitching and a streamlined proposal process means much lower cost of sale for agencies – this reduces overheads and means projects can kick off just a few days after a brief is issued.
● Agencies are paid by Studiospace the day they invoice, helping them to manage cashflow – which is the thing that often prohibits agencies from working with bigger brands where there are longer payment terms.

● Clients can easily search and find the best specialist agency talent for their specific project(s)
● Studiospace already offers one platform and one contract to work with 120+ agencies across the full range of creative, digital and marketing services and we’re growing all the time
● A single master services agreement gives Clients’ procurement teams much more visibility and control over what is often a ‘long tail’ of smaller agency relationships
● Studiospace guarantees the delivery of their agencies work, giving clients confidence to work with a new indie agency for the first time

How much do you expect Studiospace will disrupt the Australian market and industry?

It’s a complete game changer for both sides. Studiospace is the holding company for the digital age – sweeping aside the structural barriers stopping these big brands and independent agencies working together. Because it’s a marketplace the model doesn’t rely on agency ownership, so it’s also infinitely scalable and responsive to market needs. We can add new skills and services as they emerge – something traditional holding companies can only dream of.

We’re already seeing it accelerating the development of the indies’ agencies on the platform, with more than $7m of briefs already matched through the platform. That’s a huge sum of money for these agencies, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

And brands have also been using it to create new working models – it’s not just one-off projects but the creating teams of experts to sit inside businesses and deliver what they need. This amazing flexibility is freeing up marketing teams to get on with their jobs rather than managing their agencies.

Is Studiospace a better option for brands looking to go in-house?

It is the perfect complement to an in-housed team. There are clear benefits from in-housing, but it’s impossible for a client to find or afford every specialism under their roof.

In-house teams can easily and flexibly access the specialist talent or capacity they need, without complex agreements with multiple suppliers.

How do agencies get involved and how do brands get involved?

Agencies apply to join the platform via the website. Once vetted and approved by the team, they upload their Agency Profile and are ready to get matched to client briefs. We’ve got some very exciting agency partners to announce soon, it’s certainly catching the attention of everyone we speak to.

Clients share their brief and then are helped to shortlist up to three agencies using our tech platform. Clients meet each agency for an initial Chemistry/Briefing meeting, followed by a Proposal Presentation within 5 days. After selecting their preferred agency, the client and agency can kick off the project straight away, while Studiospace takes care of the contracting, invoicing, and payment. Often the time from briefing to project kick off is less than 2 weeks.


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