Capgemini Invent buys 100-strong social impact firm Purpose

19 February 2020 4 min. read
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Capgemini Invent has closed its second acquisition since its inception. The addition of US headquartered social impact consultancy Purpose adds a team of 100 professionals to its headcount.

When Capgemini bundled its Capgemini Consulting brand with its agency subsidiaries in September 2018, to form Capgemini Invent, the firm announced that it would actively seek to grow the division. Initially 6,000 strong, organic growth and the acquisition of Konexus Consulting in Germany has lifted the firm’s headcount to over 6,500 consultants across 30-plus offices and 10 creative studios. 

The bolt-on of Purpose, a US-based agency and consulting firm dedicated to social impact, significantly beefs up the firm’s US presence. The large majority of the firm’s 100 professionals are based in New York, with other teams based in London, Sao Paulo, New Delhi, Nairobi and Sydney.

Founded in 2008, Purpose helps its clients with defining and executing their purpose, and putting participation at the centre of the approach. Jeremy Heimans, co-founder and chief executive officer on the firm’s track record: “Over the past decade, we’ve worked alongside our partners to mobilise tens of millions of people on issues like the climate crisis, refugees, LGBT rights, gun violence, global poverty, and many more. We are helping an increasingly diverse range of non-profits, philanthropies and private sector players with activating purpose.” 

Purpose joins Capgemini Invent

However, he added that “we believe the moment we’re in requires an even more ambitious approach to pursuing our own purpose. We must step up the scale and depth of our work. That is why, last year, we began searching for a partner who could accelerate our trajectory by supporting and investing in our growth, geographic reach and capabilities, while also valuing and respecting our independence and unique voice.”

Having spoken with a number of investors and consulting firms, Purpose’s management team – also including Jon Damon, Claire Harman, Jessy Tolkan, Anne Keenan, Dan Shannon and Simon Goff – felt Capgemini was the right fit.

“Capgemini Invent allows us to expand our digital capabilities and gain vast new data and analytics capabilities to help us run our campaigns more effectively, reach new audiences, and better measure our impact. We will be able to integrate powerful insights from Capgemini’s work on organisational change and tap into the know-how of more than 200,000 staff across more than 40 countries.” 

Commenting on the deal, Cyril Garcia, CEO of Capgemini Invent said that from Capgemini’s perspective, the move aligns with changing demands from organisation to give purpose a more central place in their strategies. “A sustainable company must respond to the new imperatives: to place a positive contribution to society at the heart of its ambition, rethink its commitment to the objectives of sustainable development and limit its carbon emissions.” 

“Purpose strengthens the capabilities of our teams that are working closely with senior executives and boards, to envision and build what’s next for their organisation.”

“By joining the Capgemini Invent, we can truly take Purpose to the world – dramatically growing our scale and impact.”

While housed within the Capgemini Invent umbrella, Purpose will continue to be independently managed. “Most importantly, Purpose will retain full discretion over the campaigns we create, the delivery of those campaigns, and the clients with whom we do and do not work – adhering to our Public Benefit Corporation charter,” said Heimans. 

Purpose’s co-founder wrapped up; “Our mission to advance the fight for a more open, just and habitable world has never been more urgently needed than it is now. Together with Capgemini we are ready for a second decade that truly meets the moment.”

The deal comes some six months after public-listed parent Capgemini acquired Altran for €3.6 billion, in what still is the firm’s largest acquisition in its 50-plus year history.