Koto Expands To APAC & Appoints Seasoned Executives For Sydney Studio

Koto Expands To APAC & Appoints Seasoned Executives For Sydney Studio
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine



Brand and digital studio Koto has officially launched its Sydney office, marking its expansion into the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

Damian Borchok, former For The People co-founder and CEO, Interbrand Australia CEO takes on the role of managing director APAC, and Gerald Torto, previously with Re part of M&C Saatchi Group, joins as senior strategy director. They will lead the new office and regional efforts, with a senior creative leader joining the leadership team in the next months.

The studio’s initial focus will be on expanding its presence in Australia, India, Singapore, and South Korea. This strategic move reflects Koto’s continuous growth as a leading brand and digital studio spanning the EU, US, and now APAC.

Founded in 2015 by Caroline Matthews (COO), James Greenfield (CEO), and Jowey Roden (CCO), Koto has enjoyed an impressive trajectory, growing from a 3-person brand studio to a global powerhouse with a global team of over a 100. With offices in Berlin, London, Los Angeles, New York, and now Sydney, Koto secured rapid recognition for its transformative rebranding work for Airbnb, led by James Greenfield, Koto CEO, who served as the project’s executive creative director.

The studio’s momentum has grown steadily, recently delivering impactful projects for global brands such as Amazon Music, Discord, Glassdoor, Netflix, and Whatsapp. Beyond that, Koto fuels startups with distinctive, culturally relevant brands, exemplified by the likes of Bolt, BackMarket, and Meatable, catalysing their ambitions to reach new heights.

Koto is dedicated to building optimistic brands that are true, compelling, and distinctive. Their service offering covers three pillars, from brand strategy and identity to digital and campaign work. The studio leverages deep immersion and strategic thinking as the foundation for ensuring relevance and creative excellence in every project it undertakes. This approach has attracted top-tier leaders from tech sectors, spanning both B2C and B2B domains, who seek to shape or reboot their brand identity and narrative.

Koto’s strategic move is bolstered by an accomplished leadership team with a standout local track record. Damian Borchok, with over two decades of APAC experience, held key positions at Interbrand and Landor Australian outposts before launching his boutique studio, For The People. His portfolio includes prominent brands like Culture Amp (Australia), TIMEdotCom (Malaysia), and the iconic Sydney Opera House. Gerald Torto brings a distinctive blend of brand strategy and business expertise, commencing his career in branding at Re, a part of the M&C Saatchi Group, where he served as strategy director.

This led him to establish a new Practice within Re, dedicated to delivering brand services to APAC tech scale-ups, amassing an impressive client portfolio including Australian brands Weel, Mr Yum, Channel 7 and more. A third leader, well-versed in regional dynamics, will soon join as executive creative director, rounding out the leadership team.

Koto’s primary focus initially centres on extending its presence across Australia, India, Singapore, and South Korea. While Koto’s local footprint was absent until now, it has already engaged with several APAC enterprises, including Australian-founded Airtasker, a service marketplace and Zip, a buy-now-pay-later fintech, Gumtree, an online classified ads and community site acquired by eBay, operating in Australia and New Zealand, and Korean-based Need, a digital cancer protection system.

”After launching our second US studio in New York just over a year ago, it felt right to set our sights on the APAC region. We’ve worked with a number of APAC clients in recent years and we can see the potential here is immense, with thriving economies and leaders aiming to make their brands global forces. I’ve always believed APAC brands hold untapped possibilities to display their identity, differentiation, and strategic growth,” explained James Greenfield, Koto, CEO.

“Exceptional brands shouldn’t be limited to the US – there are a lot of interesting products and services in APAC. Koto steps in with Damian, G, and our upcoming executive creative director, soon to be unveiled. Together, they’re the dream team writing this next chapter with us.”

“Sooner rather than later Asia will be home to 3 of the 5 largest economies in the world. Brands from this region will have global impact like never before. While there are internationally networked branding agencies across APAC, few are yet to bring much of a sense of dynamism, vision or ambition. The region deserves to see more brands that elevate Asia’s growing status and influence — commercially and culturally,” explained Damian Borchok, Koto APAC managing director.

“Koto was born out of the technology and innovation world. Our work is informed by the entrepreneurial drive to build something better. In our case, it’s brands. We’re looking forward to partnering with like-minded businesses and contributing to the exciting times ahead in Asia and the Pacific.”

Gerald Torto, Koto’s senior strategy director, shared, “I’m really excited to be contributing to Koto’s vision of building the world’s most iconic brands, in the world’s most iconic places. The opening of a studio in Sydney to service the region is a real signal of intent and too good an opportunity to miss. For me there’s an unmatched optimism and pragmatism to the way the business goes about its work, and that drives an approach to brand strategy and verbal (as well as visual) identity that I feel can make a real difference to the ambitious businesses across APAC.”




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