MXP Ventures Backs First Asian Agency

JAKARTA — MXP Ventures has backed its first agency in Asia, taking an equity investment in Indonesia's PNTR Communications.

Founded in 2020 by agency veteran Adrian ('AJ') Lee (pictured), PNTR is currently agency of record for established brands such as Telkom Indonesia Indihome, Natixis Bank, as well as startups Blitz EV, XFood by Etanee, and I’VRE.

Former FleishmanHillard executive Lee previously founded XPR, which was sold to Cohn & Wolfe, before taking on senior roles at APCO and Critical Path. In Indonesia, PNTR is led by director Andreas Pamungkas, whose experience includes Edelman, FleishmanHillard, RGE, Media Indonesia and Kontan.

“PNTR was built with the reliability of a management consulting firm, the creativity of a media agency, and the power of digital and data,” said Lee. “MXP Ventures, with their stable of high-performance agencies combined with a network of institutional partners and investors, is the right partner to help grow and scale PNTR in Southeast Asia."

MXP Ventures 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. MXP, Lee and Pamungkas are all shareholders of PNTR post the deal.

MXP has launched four agencies in Europe and one in the US so far. 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, a year ago, and Upside PR, launched by former Flagship MD Mark Pinnes in January 2022.

"Our investment will support the PNTR team’s tech-centered approach to integrated communications as it works with established brands and startup entrepreneurs,” said Young. “The Indonesia tech ecosystem is at the forefront of innovation in Southeast Asia and we are honored to be a part of PNTR’s exciting journey."

PNTR's offering includes the XLR8 practice group, which focuses on unicorn startups in Southeast Asia. The agency also has a dedicated digital unit called PNTR Labs, providing technology and digital solutions across marketing, sales, CRM and market intelligence needs.

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