|Traded as||NASDAQ: RAZF (1999-2003)|
|Founded||New York, New York 1995|
Razorfish Inc. (formerly Avenue A | Razorfish), part of Publicis Groupe, is one of the world's largest interactive agencies. Razorfish provides services including web development, media planning and buying, technology and innovation, emerging media, analytics, mobile, advertising, creative, social influence marketing and search.
Razorfish has more than 2,000 employees worldwide, with U.S. offices in New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Portland, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Austin. In 2005–2007, it expanded overseas through acquisitions in London, Paris, Sydney, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Berlin, Frankfurt, Singapore and a joint venture in Tokyo.
The company has been led by CEO Bob Lord since April 2009.
Razorfish was founded in New York in 1995 by Craig Kanarick and Jeff Dachis with the motto "Solutions to Hard Problems." and was originally headquartered at Jeff's apartment in Alphabet City in Manhattan. A few months later, they moved into an office at 580 Broadway with three other employees. Their first project was to build a website for the New York Botanical Garden, which was paid for by Time Warner's Time-Life Books division. They were one of the first companies to have an animated homepage, utilizing the "server-push" capabilities of the latest version of the Netscape browser. Because of this and aggressive marketing tactics, their work became well known, well-respected, and the firm grew quickly over the next few years. Soon thereafter, they received a strategic investment from Omnicom (along with other New Media pioneers, Agency.com, Red Sky Interactive, Think New Ideas and Organic), making them one of the first firms to be financed by a traditional media holding company. Razorfish used this money to move to new offices, redesign their branding (to include the slogan "Everything that can be digital will be.") and expand operations. It and other New York-based Web design companies formed the core of a cluster of New Media companies known as Silicon Alley. In January 1998, Razorfish made its first of what was to be many acquisitions, by purchasing Avalanche Systems. In 1998, Razorfish acquired Plastic in San Francisco, and London-based CHBi, and Los Angeles-based <tag> media and then merged with Scandinavian interactive leader, Spray, which had offices in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Germany, making the company a true international player.
In April 1999, the company had an IPO which raised $48 million at $16 per share.
In 2007, the company had $260 M in annual revenue, and a market capitalization of over $6 billion. Its early success led it to be included in what the industry dubbed "The Fast Five," a group of "e-consultancies" that also included Scient, Viant, iXL and USWeb/CKS, which was bought and rebranded MarchFirst. The "Fast Five" was affected negatively by the downturn in the Dot-com bubble which began in 2000, and Razorfish saw its revenues plunge to $50.1 million during that year. In February 2001, Razorfish laid off 400 employees, roughly 20 percent of its staff, with its stock price descending from a February 2000 high of $57 to just $1 per share. In May 2002, Razorfish sold its broadcast design studio, renaming it as CA-SQUARE, and letting its divisions, PMcD Design, go.
Razorfish, Inc. was eventually acquired by SBI Group (formerly SBI and Company) in 2003 and was renamed to SBI.Razorfish. The company was again renamed as Avenue A | Razorfish when the SBI.Razorfish division of the SBI Group (formerly SBI and Company) was acquired by aQuantive, Inc in 2004. SBI also purchased other assets from "The Fast Five," including Scient/iXL, MarchFirst (formerly USWeb & CKS Group), Emerald Solutions, Lante, and Xcelerate.
The Avenue A | Razorfish combination in 2004 resulted in an interactive agency which according to Ad Age had the highest interactive revenue in the US in 2005, at $189.8 million.
Acquisition by Microsoft
Microsoft announced on May 18, 2007 its intention to acquire Avenue A | Razorfish as part of a $6.0 billion cash purchase of parent company aQuantive. The transaction closed on August 10, 2007. Razorfish continued to function as an independent company as part of Microsoft Advertising, run by Brian McAndrews, formerly CEO of aQuantive, who reported directly to the president of Microsoft's Platforms & Services Division (PSD). On October 20, 2008, the company decided to be known as Razorfish, dropping the Avenue A brand.
In June 2009, it was reported that Microsoft had put the company up for sale.
Sale to Publicis Groupe
Microsoft had earlier in June 2009 notified the markets of its intention to sell Razorfish, which many believed conflicted with Microsoft Advertising's main operations that sell advertising technology services to rival agencies. On August 9, Paris-based holding company Publicis Groupe SA agreed to acquire Razorfish from Microsoft for USD $530 million in cash and shares, which in turn gave Microsoft a 3% equity stake in Publicis Groupe.  Clark Kokich had served as CEO of the company since July 2007; however, in April 2008, Bob Lord was named the new CEO, while Kokich took on the newly formed role of Chairman. Lord had been at Razorfish since 2000 and served as president of the East US region since 2004.
- United States: Razorfish
- Germany: Neue Digitale/Razorfish
- UK: Razorfish
- France: Duke
- China: Razorfish
- Japan: Dentsu Razorfish
- Singapore: Razorfish
- Australia: Amnesia Razorfish
- Brazil: Razorfish
In 2008, Razorfish won over 75 creative awards including 10 Webbys, 11 Interactive Media Awards, 16 WebAwards, 3 OMMAs, 2 ADDYs, and 3 Create Awards. The Nike “Sweet Spots” campaign produced by Duke, a Razorfish Company (located in France), was recognized on the 2008 Cannes Cyberlions shortlist. Also, Razorfish’s Chief Strategy Office Jeff Lanctot, was named for the second consecutive year to the Mediaweek 50, a list of the country’s top media executives. Forrester Research cited the company as a leader in “The Forrester Wave: Interactive Marketing Agencies” report published in December 2007. Ad Age named (then) Avenue A | Razorfish 2005 media agency of the year. Forrester Research ranked it as a top-tier web design agency in its 2006 Web Design Agency Shootout. Its work for Mercedes-AMG won the 2006 Webby Award for Best Automotive Site, and its redesign of NYTimes.com has garnered a 2007 Webby for Best Newspaper Site. In 2010 Razorfish was awarded Top Value Added Partner by Adobe for Razorfish's work in the Enterprise Partner Program for Omniture technology. AdAge placed Razorfish at Number 4 on their annual Agency A-List in 2012. Also in 2012, Razorfish won the One Show Entertainment Gold pencil for Innovation in Branded Content for client Axe. In 2013 Razorfish was again recognized by AdAge placing number 9 on their 2013 annual Agency A-List. 
- Advertising Age Top Digital Agencies 2007, 5 May 2008
- Avenue A / Razorfish Acquires U.K.-based Interactive Marketing Agency, DNA, 6 December, 2005
- Avenue A / Razorfish Snaps Up French Agency, 7 March 2007
- Avenue A/Razorfish Enters Germany With Neue Digitale Buy, 9 August, 2006
- Avenue A/Razorfish Adds Japanese Outpost 17 January, 2007
- "Razorfish, Inc. History". Funding Universe. 2001. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
- Short Take: Razorfish acquires i-Cube CNET, November 2, 1999.
- "SBI and Company Completes Acquisition of Razorfish, Inc.". PR Newswire. March 3, 2003. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
- TOP 50 INTERACTIVE AGENCIES - Advertising Age - DataCenter: Agencies April 28, 2006 (Revised June 5, 2006)
- Microsoft Press Release, 18 May 2007
- "Microsoft to cut Razorfish loose".
- "Microsoft puts Razorfish up for sale". Financial Times. June 28, 2009.
- Vranica, Suzanne (August 10, 2009). "Publicis to Buy Razorfish". Wall Street Journal.
- Mary Elizabeth Hurn (April 22, 2009). "Razorfish names Bob Lord CEO, Kokich to become chairman". "Clark Kokich had served as the CEO of the company since July 2007, however in April 2009, Bob Lord was named the new CEO, while Kokich will took on [sic] the newly formed role of Chairman."
- Razorfish 2008 Awards
- Cannes Cyber Lions Short List 2008
- MEDIAWEEK 50 2008 29 September 2008
- The Forrester Wave: Interactive Marketing Agencies, Q4 2007 4 December 2007
- Best Media Agency: Avenue A/Razorfish, Nov. 7 2005. Retrieved July 5 2012.