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MXP Ventures Backs First African Agency Launch

Global employee engagement specialist Jo Eyre has launched Voxeon Communications in Cape Town with backing from the venture capital fund and agency accelerator.

CAPE TOWN — MXP Ventures has extended its geographical reach to Africa, backing new South Africa-based internal communication, employee engagement and employer branding agency Voxeon, led by workplace communications specialist Jo Eyre.

Voxeon is MXP’s first agency on the African continent, and its seventh investment since it was founded in October 2021 by Michael Young, the founder of San Francisco agency holding company Millwright Holdings, and Tilo Bonow, the founder of Berlin PR agency Piabo, with the aim of building the next generation of marketing services agencies.

The new agency has been set up to help organisations attract and retain talent, build high-performance cultures, and maximise remote and hybrid team performance, productivity and collaboration through communications, digital content and experiences.

Eyre has more than 16 years’ communications and marketing experience, advising start-ups, scale-ups, multinationals and governments on internal and external communication strategy. She previously led marketing and communications teams at Epic Games and Opera Software.

Previously, Eyre worked at strategic communications and advisory firm Africapractice, advising technology companies including Google. Most recently she led the internal communications function at global remote HR-tech scale-up, Omnipresent.

Eyre told PRovoke Media: “I worked remotely for 10 years and when the pandemic happened I found myself helping the team I was working with at Epic Games to work more effectively remotely. I realised that had we decided as a world to start working remotely or hybrid it would have been a huge piece of change management with huge budgets, but we didn’t have a choice and we’re now seeing the cracks: it’s difficult to work flexibly and still have that level of performance.

“Voxeon comes back to my love of employer branding and internal comms, and helping companies setting themselves up for a future where talent is borderless. I reached out to Michael and Tilo four or five months ago and they saw there was so much opportunity, from large organisations acquiring organisations from different countries and needing to build culture, to scale-ups, to other agencies without a niche around distributed workforces, employee engagement and employer branding. Our ambition is global: we want to grow as quickly as we can to support companies of all kinds in all industries to create future-ready workplace cultures.”

Bonow added: “When Jo approached us, it was love at first sight – she has great energy, confidence and experience and when you’re looking for an entrepreneur and founder, you need that immediate feeling that you want to work with them. There are so many layers to internal communications, and in every talk we’ve had with Jo it has become clear how broad the topic is – even off-boarding can be culture-defining – and she can help companies and other agencies grow and thrive.”

As well as Voxeon, MXP’s portfolio includes four agencies in Europe, one in the US and, most recently, PNTR Communications in Asia. Earlier this year, the agency accelerator and venture fund unveiled social change firm Better Together in Washington DC, while last September saw the launch of Paris-based Entourage, a communications advisory firm focused on CEO reputation and thought leadership. Last May, it backed the launch of Ellipse Communications, led by international communications specialist Coraline Bardinat, also in France.

MXP has so far also backed two UK agencies: Bound to Prosper, founded by Lydia Hoye, previously the managing partner at Kazoo, and Upside PR, launched by former Flagship MD Mark Pinnes.

Source : PRovoke Media