By Andrea Harwood Palmer
The Saratoga-based advertising agency Fingerpaint has secured an investment partner, Knox Lane, a private equity firm in San Francisco.
“Even with everything going on in 2020, it was a great year for us,” said Beth Beck, head of the company’s Saratoga Springs office. “It was a year of continued growth.”
She said company founder Ed Mitzen “made the decision to find an investment partner. Not someone to be part of the day-to-day operations, but someone to act as an investment partner,” said Beck. “Over the last part of 2020, Ed spoke with over 30 different investment groups. At the close of the year, he had decided to move forward with our partnership with Knox Lane.”
Mitzen was attracted to Knox Lane’s commitment to make sure there are women in leadership positions.
The investment from Knox Lane is strictly about helping Fingerpaint achieve continued growth, said Beck. Mitzen will maintain control of the company while Knox Lane will provide capital for continued growth capacity within the ad agency, as well as acquisitions.
Over the next year, Fingerpaint will create its first board of directors, of which a representative of Knox Lane will be a part.
“The decision to partner together was very much a strategic decision. There will be acquisitions of many more companies to add to the Fingerpaint family going forward,” said Beck.
Mitzen started Fingerpaint 12 years ago, during a recession. Previously, he founded Creative Healthcare Solutions, Inc. in Ohio and Palio Communications in Saratoga Springs. Both companies have since been sold.
Fingerpaint has acquired three other companies since its inception, including healthcare consulting, market access and analytics firm 1798 about a year ago.
Beck has been with in the advertising industry for over 25 years.
“To come from large holding companies and networks where we did amazing work, and to go somewhere where you have a culture and group of people so committed to each other where you can continue to do amazing work,” she said.
“The Saratoga office is really the heart of Fingerpaint, not just the business, but the culture. It’s very much a product of Ed and the folks that have been in leadership at the agency,” said Beck.
Beck said Fingerpaint plans to stay in Saratoga, investing in their people and overall growth. The agency has additional locations in Pennsylvania, Arizona, California and New Jersey.
“It’s been a good run for Saratoga. Our business is very stable. We have solid talent and wonderful clients. Now we’re going to see where we can take it next, while maintaining our great culture and expanding what we can offer our clients,” said Beck.
By Andrea Harwood Palmer