EY acquires Applix, one of Italy's fastest growing digital scale-ups

18 December 2017 Consultancy.eu 4 min. read

The Italian arm of EY has acquired Applix, an Italian scale-up that designs and develops mobile solutions for multinationals and mid-sized companies. Applix has been rebranded as EY-Applix, similar to how The Parthenon Group was rebranded as Parthenon-EY globally and, in Germany, Innovalue as EY-Innovalue.

Applix has since its founding in 2010 become a household name in Italy’s bourgeoning startup and scale-up scene, having grown from a two man show – co-founders Claudio Somazzi (CEO) and Marco Cirilli (CTO) – to a company with currently over 100 employees across offices in Europe, America and Asia. The firm’s rapid growth has seen the Cagliari headquartered company recognised as one of Italy's fastest growing digital startups, and scale-ups later on in its journey, by a variety of Italian analysts and platforms. 

The private equity backed firm – in 2011 Applix became the first Italian startup in history to close a fund that raised over €4 million – made global headlines when Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs, during a keynote presentation for the iPad2, referred to Applix’s ‘Virtual History Rome’ app, today still one of the most successful Italian apps of all times. Applix’s apps are downloaded in more than 120 countries, with top 10 download positions achieved in over 50 countries. The firm’s success is, according to its clients, built on a proprietary approach for mobile user experience and user interface, as well as a solid track record in the build and delivery of solutions.

EY acquires Digital Transformation specialist Applix

With the acquisition of Applix, EY, an international accounting and consulting firm, aims at ramping up its position in the market for digital transformation, focused on the opportunities offered by the “mobile economy”. The two parties were at the time of deal closing well familiar with one another – over the past year, Applix has been involved in the implementation of several digital projects for EY customers, said Andrea Paliani, Head of Consulting at EY Italy. “The integration of Applix into our organisation is the natural conclusion of this business incubation process,” he remarked. 

Paliani: “The joining of forces brings additional, unique and differentiated skills to EY, which allow us enhance our digital strategy and execution services, in every business sector.” It will in addition place the firm “at the forefront of Italy’s professional services sector in terms of Open Innovation,” he added. Applix has a large design and development base in Sardinia, where it, in an open and collaborative environment, works closely together with designers, technology experts, business representatives and academics from the University of Cagliari to uncover and unleash the power of digital-driven innovation.

Claudio Somazzi, founder of Applix and now a Partner at EY in Italy, stated, “The integration of our team into EY is the logical conclusion of a seven year growth process. Under the wings of EY, EY-Applix will have the opportunity to work with international clients and co-create with them an innovative and concrete digital transformation process. This will allow us to serve a larger and more complex market, while helping us make a leap in the quality and breadth of our offerings.” 

Earlier this month, Parthenon-EY acquired the German team of OC&C Strategy Consultants, months after it also bolted-on the French and Benelux operations of the UK headquartered strategy consulting firm. Last year, EY acquired, among others, NeriWolff in Italy, financial services consultancy Innovalue in Germany and A-THREE in Belgium.