BlinkLane Consulting ropes €30 million growth capital

24 July 2020 Consultancy.eu

In a bid to accelerate its international expansion plans, Dutch management consulting BlinkLane Consulting has roped in €30 million growth capital from Germany’s Auctus Capital Partners. 

BlinkLane Consulting was founded in 2007 and supports clients in the private and public sector in a number of specialised areas, including business transformation, innovation, the implementation of agile ways of working and digital transformation. 

Since its inception, the firm has grown to a team of 70 consultants and employees, operating from offices in Amsterdam (head office), Paris and Bangalore. But, following “strong demand for its services” in the past years, said co-founders partners Han Driessen and Ralph Hofman, the firm set its sights on accelerating its growth. 

“We believe there is room for a pan-European mid-sized consulting firm specialised in organisational transformation, positioned in between the strategy houses and the large full-service consultancies,” they said.

In particular in the areas of digital transformation and agile working the firm sees opportunities that are ripe to capitalise. BlinkLane Consulting has to date supported 40+ large organisations with scaled agile transitions in the technology, financial services, industry and telecommunications sectors. 

Ralph Hofman and Han Driessen - BlinkLane Consulting

According to a study BlinkLane Consulting commissioned, the market for agile services is touted to grow by double digits across major European markets in the coming years, and even by up to 20% per annum in the established markets of Germany and France. 

Strengthening their belief in the firm’s growth ambitions, the consultancy engaged dealmakers from Marktlink – a Dutch M&A boutique – to land a financial sponsor for the partnership. Following a search process and discussions with “several interested parties”, they decided to forge a deal with Auctus Capital Partners. 

The Germans will inject €30 million into BlinkLane Consulting’s coffers, which will primarily be used to fuel growth and further professionalisation of the business. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Then, when the right targets pop up, said Driessen and Hofman, the firm will also pursue a buy-and-build approach. “Our M&A focus is on the Netherlands, Germany and France.”

Asked why they selected Auctus, Driessen said: “In our view, they have the experience, knowledge and track record to support our growth ambitions, both organically and through targeted acquisitions.” 

BlinkLane Consulting is the parent of Gladwell Academy, a company that provides training and professional development. 

Private equity in consulting

The deal comes at a time of growing private equity involvement in fast growing consulting firms. Today, large consultancies such as AlixPartners, Capco, DuPont Sustainable Solutions and PA Consulting are all backed by investors, but increasingly also boutiques are catching their interest. Last year, UK’s Vendigital received an investment from Livingbridge, while earlier this month, investor-backed Chaucer was picked up by another private equity-backed group, Italy’s BIP.