Ascent, a leading European digital services business, has announced the acquisition of data engineering (DE) and business intelligence (BI) services business BiLD Analytics. This latest acquisition is another milestone in Ascent’s ambitious growth strategy to create a powerful combination of advanced data capabilities, software and cloud skills to help customers build digital muscle.
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Based in Lisbon, Portugal, BiLD was founded in 2018 and has since established a high-profile customer base that includes TripAdvisor, MercedesBenz.io, Bain & Co, New Signature, Billigence, and Avanade. A critical facet of the decision to acquire is BiLD‘s core engineering capabilities, which are precisely aligned with Ascent’s focus. BiLD’s data engineers hold deep certifications in Microsoft Azure, Databricks and Snowflake with complimentary data visualisation skills in Tableau, PowerBI and Qlik. BiLD’s founder and managing partner, Diogo Dias, will become part of the Ascent leadership team, overseeing the rapid expansion of Ascent’s strategic Portuguese talent hub.
Led by CEO Stewart Smythe, Ascent now employs more than 420 people worldwide and supports over 180 customers, including BrewDog, the Crown Estate, Centrica (Hive) and BDO. BiLD is the second data business to become part of the Ascent family and its multi-skilled teams will enable the company to seize new market opportunities driven by a rapidly increasing global demand for digital services.
Stewart Smythe, CEO at Ascent said: “There’s a real innovation surge in our target market right now that is focussed on rebuilding customer experience, both physical and digital – and data is right at the heart of this movement. Acquiring BiLD extends our reach into nearshore EU talent hubs and will help us meet the mushrooming demand for engineering services we’re seeing as our customers increasingly prioritise driving value from their data.”
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For Smythe, selecting BiLD was a decision contingent on alignment of technical vision and quality of delivery. “I’ve looked at a large number of similar businesses across Europe over the last 12 months and BiLD really stood out – both because of the depth of its Azure and Databricks capabilities and its growth ambition and potential. We’ve been working in partnership with them for a number of months and have been really impressed by the quality of their work and people.”
Diogo Dias, Founder and Managing Partner at BiLD said: “We’re delighted to join the Ascent team, blending our expertise in data engineering with Ascent’s scale and maturity in digital solution development, best practices and methodologies. Becoming part of Ascent will allow us to keep building on our specialism in ecosystems like Azure and Databricks whilst enabling us to scale faster – and naturally I am excited about the new career opportunities this brings to our teams.”
Simon Hitchcock, Managing Partner at Horizon Capital concluded: “Acquisitions like BiLD that create scale in the most market-relevant technical skillsets will accelerate Ascent’s organic growth. Under Stewart Smythe’s direction we are creating a real contender in the digital services market that is founded on technical substance. BiLD’s data engineering capabilities are a catalyst for future growth – we’re excited to support Ascent as it continues to identify and integrate high quality, high-performing technical businesses.”
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