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A DSM-Based Startup Merges + Readies for Future Growth

Denim Social Merger

June 12, 2020


Greg Bailey is the president and CPO of Denim Social, a social media management platform for marketers in regulated industries. Denim Social was born from the merging of two startups, including the St. Louis-based Gremlin Social and Des Moines-based Denim.

Mobile Advertising

When Denim began, its messaging and market position focused on social media advertising before shifting to mobile advertising. Following that change, Denim merged with Gremlin Social to be able to provide social media tools and paid advertising opportunities in one platform. Denim Social now serves over 250 institutions across various industries. 

Learn about the recent merger here.

The Transition

In the summer of 2018, Bailey met the CEO of Gremlin Social. At that time, Gremlin Social had focused on selling their social media management platform into banks, credit unions, mortgage lenders and financial institutions, while Denim focused on the advertising aspect within the insurance industry. In April of 2020, the deal to merge was finalized. Bailey says that business growth can be organic or inorganic. 

Bailey discusses the importance of discussing differences within each company in order to create a smooth merger. This included:

·       Who makes up the teams?

·       What are their roles?

·       What does each workplace culture look like?

·       Operations

·       Employee Interaction



Working from Home During COVID-19

The ability to work remotely is fundamental to the Denim Social business model. Bailey says it hasn’t had a huge impact on employees’ day-to-day work. During this time, the staff has tried to find new and creative ways to stay in touch, including Zoom happy hours and backyard social distancing gatherings to maintain the culture of the business and stay connected as a team.

Leadership Communication

Bailey maintains that the key to keeping employees engaged lies in daily communication. Your staff should know there is someone out there who cares what’s going on with them during difficult times like the COVID-19 crisis. 

Looking to the Future

Bailey makes a few key points about how he plans to continue growth at Denim Social:

1.     Maximizing current growth

2.     Researching other regulated industries

3.     Considering other product opportunities

4.     Hiring for future growth


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Startup Stories DSM

Startup Stories DSM is a podcast featuring conversations with entrepreneurs who share both their victories and failures on their paths to success. It is produced by the Greater Des Moines Partnership.