The Datawords Group announces today its capital change to support the company’s strong international growth strategy. Keensight Capital, one of the leading European Growth Buyout1 firms, replaces Cathay Capital as majority shareholder of Datawords, alongside the founders’ team.
The Datawords Group has a history of rapid expansion over the last five years, its turnover rose from €30 to €70 million (at the end of 2019) and the number of employees doubled to reach 800 people.
The sustained organic growth has been particularly driven, since 2015, by the successful deployment strategy in North America (with the gain of numerous clients in the United States and the opening of new offices in Montreal and Mexico City) and the strengthening of the Group’s activity in Asia, particularly in continental China (with new offices in Shanghai and Manila, following those in Hong Kong, Seoul, and Tokyo).
Benefiting from the active support of its shareholders, Datawords has also carried out several external growth operations over the past few years, with the acquisitions of Vanksen, 87 Seconds and WhatSquare, enabling it to accelerate the diversification of its service offering.
The Group’s technological expertise was also strengthened through major investments in the development of proprietary solutions (Wezen) and the launch of several strategic partnerships (notably with Adobe, Assist or ContentSquare).
Today, Datawords is a fully integrated global Group, offering its customers the ability to roll out digital and video content on an international scale, with the support of multilingual technologies.
The arrival of Keensight Capital as a majority investor will enable Datawords to pursue and accelerate its technological innovation strategy, especially in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Furthermore, Datawords will continue to enrich its offering of digital content creation and production offering and expand its international presence.
Stanislas de Nervo, Co-founder and CEO of Datawords, comments: “Datawords will celebrate its 20th anniversary next June with the opening of a new chapter. The last five years were truly transformative for us as we built a unique platform on three continents, integrated and developed new expertise and attracted new talent. Cathay Capital will always hold an important place in our history for having twice supported us as a shareholder in the creation of a truly international Group. We are delighted to enter this new phase of our history with Keensight, building on the relationship of trust we have enjoyed since 2015.”
Philippe Crochet, Managing Partner of Keensight, said: “We are very pleased to continue and to deepen our collaboration with the co-founders of Datawords and the talented multicultural team they have built up and with whom we are very familiar. The unrivalled quality of service offering of Datawords, which is a world leader in its sector, coupled with the ability of its managers to generate double-digit growth every year for the past 20 years have convinced us to invest a majority stake in this great entrepreneurial adventure. We intend to leverage our extensive expertise in the IT sector to support the Group in successfully stepping up to the AI challenge internationally.”
Edouard Moinet, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Cathay Capital said: “By meeting an unmet demand and combining technological expertise and cultural understanding to facilitate the international deployment of content, Datawords has succeeded in creating a new agency model. We are proud to have supported Datawords during this transformative phase by carrying out several build-ups and accelerating its development in Europe, North America and Asia. We are pleased to pass the torch to Keensight to pursue Datawords’ internationalization and growth momentum.“
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Created in 2000, Datawords combines the understanding of local cultures and technological expertise to implement the international strategies of major global brands on any digital platform. Headed by a team of co-founders, Datawords is today established in Europe, Asia and the USA. Datawords differentiates itself with e-multicultural technologies and the diverse backgrounds of its 800 employees who represent 50 nationalities and more than 60 languages. Datawords recorded a €70M turnover in 2019. Vanksen, 87seconds and Digiprod are also part of the Datawords Group.
About Keensight Capital
Keensight Capital, one of the leading European Growth Buyout firms, is committed to supporting entrepreneurs as they implement their growth strategies. For 20 years, Keensight Capital’s team of seasoned professionals has leveraged their knowledge of investment and growth industries to invest for the long term in profitable companies with high growth potential and revenues in the range of €15 million to €250 million. Drawing on its expertise in the Information Technology/Internet and Healthcare/Wellbeing sectors, Keensight identifies the best investment opportunities in Europe and works closely with management teams to develop and achieve their strategic vision.
About Cathay Capital Group
Cathay Capital Group is a global investment platform specialized in cross-border development with a focus on Northern America, China and Europe. The group identifies investment opportunities with the potential to impact the world and accompanies portfolio companies in their international expansion through its ecosystem of partners and the local expertise of its close to 90 employees based in Paris, Shanghai, Beijing, New York, San Francisco, Munich and Tel Aviv. Founded in 2007, the Group has completed over 120 buyouts, growth and venture capital investments and manages €3.5 billion in assets (as of 31/12/2019), distributed in a range of investment strategies and vehicles.
For more information, please visit www.cathay.fr
Raphaële Coulot-Brette – [email protected] – +33 (0)1 55 30 71 07
Yoann Besse – [email protected] – +33 (0)6 63 03 84 91