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Rei Inamoto and Rem Reynolds set up Inamoto & Co

Following their departure from AKQA last year, it was suspected that former Global Chief Creative Officer Rei Inamoto and New York Managing Director Rem Reynolds would set up a new ad agency. Recently, however, the two clarified that they were establishing a “business invention studio” that will focus on design, data, technology, and digital transformation. Simply named Inamoto & Co, the studio’s goals will be to create its own intellectual property and work closely with clients on evolving their businesses in those areas.

In addition, Inamoto has revealed that Tokyo- and San Francisco-headquartered tech investment firm Digital Garage will serve as the studio’s financial and strategic partner. Digital Garage invested in Twitter back in 2008, has backed LinkedIn and Kiip, as well as digital meta studio Betaworks. It was founded in 1994 by President and Group CEO Kaoru Hayashi and Joi Ito.

Digital Garage brings both financial support and a strategic partnership with famed tech innovation incubator MIT Media Lab, where Ito now serves as director. “Having MIT as a potential future talent pipe seemed like a good channel to have,” said Inamoto. Both Inamoto and Reynolds are majority owners for Inamoto & Co and it will still operate independently of Digital Garage.


“I was a little bit unsure about using my name as the name of the company, but Rem actually suggested it,” Inamoto said. “Every other name we had was too convoluted, you had to explain it and became a very complicated story. We went with something recognizable, simple, and that had value.” He laughinly added that, “The domain name ( was available.”

Inamoto & Co is currently in the process of placing people in key company positions. Will Turnage, former Senior VP-Techology at R/GA, is now director of technology, and Nathalie Torres, former director of analytics at the Engine Group is director of data. Turnage spent a decade at his former company, where he managed the New York office’s technology department and played a key role in the agency’s Tech Accelerator program. His main charge will be to oversee product incubation, but he’ll also consult on the client side. Torres also previously held data science and business analytics roles at Digitas and AKQA.

Inamoto & Co currently has about 10 full-time and freelance staffers, working in design, strategy, UX and technology. The company is currently securing a new office in Brooklyn, where many of its team already reside. Inamoto & Co is now working with clients on undisclosed efforts, including one for a leading global apparel brand on its digital transformation initiatives.

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