Our latest acquisitions and M&A strategy

26 July 2022

Given the significance of the latest acquisitions made, I would like to read them within the overall growth strategy of DIGITAL360.

Let us start with the goal we have always set ourselves, since exactly 10 years ago we were born: to develop an entrepreneurial project strongly focused on growth, both organic and by external means. And in fact, in recent years we have grown at an average annual rate (CAGR) of 40%, about half organically and the rest through acquisitions.
Acquisitions have always had a dual purpose for us, in addition to accelerating growth:

  • to consolidate highly fragmented markets (and this is what we have managed to do, for example, in the market for demand generation services for tech companies, where we have quickly become by far the largest player in the Italian market)
  • bring on board DIGITAL360 smart co-entrepreneurs, with the same vision and culture as us (and there is no doubt that today it is thanks to the team of these co-entrepreneurs that we can confidently set up strong growth in the coming years). Having said that, I would like to place the last four acquisitions well within the growth strategy of DIGITAL360’s two Business Units (BUs).

The strategy of the BU Advisory&Coaching has always been clear: to focus on certain particularly attractive markets related to the digital transformation of companies and public administrations, with an innovative, subscription-based business model, based where possible on as-a-service technology platforms (Consultech).

Among these markets, three are particularly relevant:

  • the advisory market in support of change and the digital transformation of organisations, which is growing strongly, partly due to the impetus given by the pandemic and the PNRR funds; this is where the acquisition of Methodos comes in, a historic company with a well-known brand and a leadership position in organisational consultancy, with particular reference to the management of organisational and cultural change in companies, thanks also to a proprietary software platform to support behavioural change (Digital Coach and Digital Adoption Platform). With this acquisition, we create a reference pole in Italy, both culturally and in the market, in this field;
  • the cybersecurity market, which is also growing rapidly thanks to the increasing attention paid to cybersecurity issues at a political and governmental level (e.g., the establishment of the National Cybersecurity Agency). This is where Cryptonet comes in, a young company that was founded in 2017 and is experiencing strong growth, and which has been working with DIGITAL360 for some time. Thanks to this acquisition, a service hub dedicated to cybersecurity is established in DIGITAL360, with an expected total turnover in 2022 of EUR 5.5 million (pro-forma), with a growth of more than 25% compared to 2021, almost half of which is recurring (Annual Recurrent Revenue) linked to subscription-based services (such as, for example, the “CISO As-A-Service” and the “Digital Bodyguard”);
  • the advisory market to support the digital change and transformation of the Public Administration. The acquisition of Meridiana, which operates in the field of specialised services for the Public Administration (“PA”), supporting entities and institutions in the management of European programmes in the national and EU territory, falls within this scope. Meridiana’s main area of operation is technical assistance, provided to PA customers, for the design, management, evaluation and monitoring of programmes and projects using European and national structural funds. The acquisition of Meridiana strengthens DIGITAL360’s presence in the world of consultancy services in support of innovation and digital transformation of PA, an area already covered by the Group through the companies FPA, ICT LAB PA and some practices of Partners4Innovation.

The acquisition of Delmonte, on the other hand, is part of the other BU, Demand Generation, and strengthens the Group’s position in the Martech and Salestech market, which is growing rapidly both in Italy and internationally, partly as a result of the acceleration resulting from the pandemic period, which has pushed B2B companies to digitally rethink their main marketing and sales processes. Delmonte is a company that over the years has specialised in digital solutions to support B2B marketing and sales based on Hubspot (the world’s leading software company in this field and listed on the Nasdaq). With Delmonte’s entry into DIGITAL360, the largest Italian hub focused on Martech and Salestech B2B based on the Hubspot platform is born, which can already count on Annual Recurrent Revenues of more than 6.4 million Euros with 274 platforms implemented and a competence centre made up of more than 80 specialists, with more than 280 Hubspot certifications acquired.

In summary, we have closed a very important half year for DIGITAL360, in which we finalised four strategic acquisitions we had been working on for some time and which greatly strengthen our positioning in as many key markets, with great potential for the future, and all consistent with our strategy of combining high-level professional consultancy with subscription-based services based on SAAS technology platforms.

In short, let’s end these first six months of 2022 on a good note, looking forward to more good things to come in the next six!

Until next time