The bigger the brand, the greater the bureaucracy – and this can be a real headache for talented creatives looking to secure high-profile work.

Running an agency – whether it provides marketing, development or social media services, or a combination of these –  is a time-consuming enough process. Those serious about scaling their business and adding value to its service proposition face an even greater drain on resources.

When Studiospace – initially known as Studioworks – started out in 2021, the vision was for a suite of Software-as-a-Service tools which would simplify the commercial side of running an agency.


What we realised fairly quickly was that what the agencies valued most was access to good quality leads and briefs from new clients with the right focus for them,” CEO Pete Sayburn tells BusinessCloud. “This is what helped them to grow their businesses.

“Agencies are often held back in their growth by the linear process of sell a project, deliver a project, then ask: what are we going to do next?”

The company was founded by Market Gravity co-founders Sayburn, Gideon Hyde, Robin Scarborough and Paul Bowman, alongside CFO Neil Barnett and CCO Phil Kohler four years after that company – which helped clients to design, prototype and launch to market new propositions and services – was acquired by Deloitte in 2017.

Global marketplace

The global marketplace helps senior marketers to hire specialist, founder-led agencies spread around a dozen countries. After posting a brief, this is matched with relevant suppliers among the almost 200 agencies registered on the platform. 

Studiospace – which ranked eighth on our MarTech 50 – then arranges ‘chemistry meetings’ between the brand and the agency, effectively working as a matchmaker.

MarTech 50 – UK’s most innovative marketing technology creators

“It could be advertising creative, it could be digital experience, insightful market research, TikTok marketing,” explains Sayburn. “A lot of the best talent actually sits in some of the smaller independent businesses, rather than the big agencies.”

Sayburn says big brands are keen to work with fresh talent – but smaller independent businesses cannot cope with the admin and red tape that they demand from their suppliers.

“The indie agencies are so strong in terms of their identity, their skills, their specialisms,” he explains. “It’s quite a different approach to the existing process, where every three years a brand does a review of its agency roster, puts together an approved supplier list and gives all of the work to one or two agencies.

“Within five days, you can have three proposals on your desk, and a Zoom meeting with each of those agency founders to understand who you want to work with. The agencies have the freedom to set their price so that they can demonstrate the value – not just the lowest price will win.” 


The platform manages all agreed creative, digital and marketing services via one contract. It also handles payments, ensuring the agencies are paid on time, addressing the huge cash flow problem resulting from late payments. Studiospace takes a commission from the winning agency’s fee.

Serious about scaling

The agencies on its platform range from ‘half a dozen’ staff to 300 – and they must be serious about scaling, according to Sayburn. Many of these are sourced via recommendations from their extensive contacts in the industry.

“If you just want to run a lifestyle business, make enough money to keep you and a small team busy, we’re not for you,” he explains. “But if you’re really ambitious about growth, and you want to get access to some of the best brands in the world, that’s where Studiospace comes in. 

“We help you with the scaling up of your business by taking away some of the admin, the payment administration, all that nightmare contracting that you have to do with big brands.”

Since going live in early 2022, Studiospace has pulled in major brands including Aviva, Jaguar Land Rover, Gala Games and AXA. It has successfully matched well over 100 briefs to date – from automotive and manufacturing to insurance, banking, energy and retail – with an average order value of more than £50,000.

“We’re not just talking about very small projects: some of these are really valuable pieces of work that the agency wouldn’t have known about without us,” says Sayburn.

Founder: Scalability is Studiospace’s secret sauce

US expansion

The startup, which employs around 15 staff, raised £1.5 million of funding from Fuel Ventures late last year to grow the business in the UK and in Australia, where it has a growing office in Sydney, and has also launched a base in New York.

“North America is so important to us just in terms of the value of the market – it’s 60-70% of global advertising and marketing spend,” says Sayburn.

The CEO says the plan is to raise a Series A round early next year.We also have to stay tuned to innovation, make sure we’re covering new approaches, new capabilities and new skills,” he adds.

Meet tech firm with no managers where decisions are made by ‘Council of Elders’