The year started with an exciting string of acquisitions across the industry. Freshly-launched Penta acquired a consultancy, Truescope acquired Universal, while Babel Street and Sprout Social invested in NLA and AI providers to strengthen their respective products. (It’s a year that is likely to be defined by AI, and I wonder how many AI acquisitions we will see.) Meanwhile Meltwater is to go private, and Edelman paints a sorrowful trust picture.
Meltwater set to go private, once again
Penta acquires Irish consultancy
Penta has acquired the consultancy Hume Brophy, in its first acquisition since it launched in September of last year. Hume Brophy’s chief executive, Conall McDevitt, will become a senior partner and managing partner of Europe and Asia at Penta. The deal brings to Penta about 100 team members working across sectors including energy, transportation and mobility, agribusiness, and financial services.
Truescope picks up Universal
Australia’s Truescope has acquired Universal Information Services (UIS) in the US. The merger of the UIS brand and business to Truescope will take place take place over the next few months and migration of UIS clients to Truescape is underway. Todd Murphy, Universal’s CEO, will take over as Truescope president, North America. Launched in 2020, Truescope is currently active in New Zealand, Singapore and the USA. Truescope’s founder and CEO, John Croll, said the acquisition was a significant move to accelerate growth in the US market.
Babel Street acquires text analysis firm
Sprout Social acquires NLP provider
Sticking with the theme, Sprout Social has acquired Repustate, a sentiment analysis and natural language processing company. Repustate reads and analyzes text and video content natively, transforming data through natural language processing, artificial intelligence and machine learning into business intelligence. Sprout Social intends to leverage the technology to increase the power, breadth and automation of social listening, messaging and customer care capabilities with added sentiment analysis, natural language processing (NLP) and artificial-intelligence (AI).
Facebook Sues Voyager Labs
Meta has filed a lawsuit against the social media surveillance provider, Voyager Labs. Meta accuses Voyager of creating tens of thousands of fake accounts to scrape data from more than 600,000 Facebook users’ profiles. It says the company pulled information such as posts, likes, friend lists, photos, and comments, along with other details from groups and pages. Meta claims that Voyager masked its activity using its Surveillance Software, and that the company has also scraped data from Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Telegram. Meta has asked a judge to permanently ban Voyager from Facebook and Instagram.