UK-based digital transformation consultancy Kin + Carta has continued its investment in data and artificial intelligence services with the acquisition of analytics service Forecast Data in a £3m deal. It is the latest in a string of data-related acquisitions for the company, which is looking to get back on track after being forced to issue a profit warning earlier this year.
The £3m price tag represents a 450% premium on Forecast Data’s predicted earnings for the year to September 2023, Kin + Carta said this morning.
Kin + Carta acquires Forecast Data
Jointly headquartered in London and Chicago, Kin + Carta supports digital transformation at organisations around the world, and employs more than 2,000 people. It brought in revenue of £197m last year.
Its acquisition of Edinburgh-based Forecast Data is part of a plan to build out its data and AI services, as it reacts to increasing demand to incorporate AI systems into workflows to increase productivity. In 2020, it brought US-based Cascade Data Labs, and last year acquired cloud-based machine learning platform Octain AI.
Forecast Data, based in Edinburgh, provides data and analytics services to clients across sectors including energy, mining and food and beverages. Last year it generated revenue of £3.5m. Director and founder of the company, Neil MacDonald, will remain in place and “continue to drive growth in data and AI services”, a statement announcing the news said.
Kelly Manthey, global CEO at Kin + Carta, said: “Enterprise data transformation is a key part of our growth strategy. This acquisition strengthens our data and artificial intelligence capabilities globally helping to satisfy our order backlog and establishing a data hub for Europe that matches our strong capabilities in the US. We are ready to serve our clients’ business-critical priorities with the next wave of innovation.”
Kin + Carta looks to bounce back after profit warning
The Kin + Carta board will be hoping the news gives their share price a boost. It fell sharply in February when the business issued a profit warning to the London Stock Exchange.
Having expected growth of 21-27% this year, it has now adjusted expectations to between 8-12%. This was after its revenue for the first six months of the year came in at £85.6m, and the news saw the value of the company’s stock drop 30%, though it has recovered slightly since then.
The challenging economic conditions mean many businesses are pausing or scaling back digital transformation projects, or turning to established technologies rather than investing in new platforms and services. In addition, Tech Monitor has reported how the rising tide of cybersecurity threats means transformation budgets are being diverted to boost defences.
But despite this, Manthey said at the time that the company remains on track. “Despite macro headwinds tempering short-term growth across the industry, we remain focused on our long-term strategy that prioritises enterprise clients with high quality, resilient revenue, delivered with higher margin nearshore delivery,” she said.
“Our record backlog demonstrates the ongoing demand for our services. The measures that we are currently implementing in the business give me confidence that we are continuing to build a firm platform for future growth.
“Our ambition for Kin & Carta has not changed.”