Ascent completes acquisition of Mango Solutions

Expected to add 65 employees and approximately £5M in annual revenues to Ascent, the acquisition of data science consulting firm Mango Solutions follows a close business partnership, and will see the combined business employ over 340 people.

The increased data science, advanced analytics, data engineering, and Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities that will come with the acquisition will allow Ascent to deliver integrated ‘big picture’ digital strategies for businesses looking to innovate.

It’s predicted that 80% of new businesses coming to Ascent for assistance in 2020 had demands that rapidly shifted from software to data analytics and modelling, while the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the need for improved digital customer experiences.

This has required extensive blending of front end, customer-facing online capabilities, with commercially-driven data analytics, modelling and insights.

Ascent, backed by private equity house Horizon Capital, invested £30M less than 12 months ago, which was used for earlier acquisitions, with CEO Stewart Smythe confirming access to sufficient additional funding, as required to deliver the Ascent plan.

“We’ve enjoyed a proven working relationship with Mango Solutions for some time now, and are so confident in the quality of their work and their people that we decided to make the partnership permanent,” said Smythe.

“Achieving business strategy goals in mid and upper-mid market customers now requires ambidextrous, integrated software and data capabilities to deliver effective digital transformation. Companies that can achieve this will do better than their competitors, grow more quickly and see exponential commercial gain.

“Delivering long-term value to these businesses demands extensive expertise in advanced analytics and data science techniques like statistical modelling and machine learning; exactly the sort of deep capability that Mango Solutions brings to the table.

“We expect the combined businesses to deliver organic growth in the region of 20 percent annually.”

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As part of the deal, Rich Pugh, previously chief data scientist at Mango Solutions, will continue this role at Ascent, leading the drive of newly acquired advanced analytics and data science abilities for a larger customer base.

“The most exciting thing about joining Ascent is that we will see our vision and expertise become accessible to so many more businesses so much sooner,” commented Pugh.

“What was once the domain of only the largest enterprises is now accessible to the mid and upper-mid market – at a time when demand for insight and intelligence is surging.

“Ascent is the accelerant to take Mango’s capability and leadership in data science to this broader market.”

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Simon Hitchcock, managing partner at Horizon Capital, concluded: “Mango is the third acquisition we have made with Ascent since our investment in the business 12 months ago. These acquisitions have enhanced the impressive organic growth of the business under Stewart Smythe’s leadership, and are creating a market leader in the digital transformation market.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming the Mango Solutions team to Ascent and see their data capabilities as a core part of the business going forward. We look forward to supporting Ascent in further acquisitions of founder-led, technically brilliant businesses with strong cultures like Mango.”

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.