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Netguru acquires minority stake in Pilot44, a San Francisco-based innovation studio

– Recent years have shown how rapidly the market is changing, followed by customer needs. The pace of digitization and the need for rapid adaptation have made the innovation process faster than ever. To keep up with these changes, companies are increasingly choosing to work with a single partner with comprehensive knowledge and expertise, rather than relying on a whole chain of independent suppliers. For years we have been developing Netguru in line with our strategy to build a new, forward-thinking digital and business consulting model, offering a complete offering for clients looking to grow their business. Acquisition of Pilot44 studio is the next step on this road – emphasizes Marek Talarczyk, Netguru CEO.

Investments of Polish companies in successful players from such markets as the UK or the US are still rare. This is a unique case in which a Polish company acquires shares in a thriving American company, which in its portfolio has such brands as Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s or Procter and Gamble.

Based in San Francisco, Pilot44 is one of America’s most trusted studios offering support in building innovation and scaling companies. The studio supports the world’s largest companies in achieving business growth with a unique set of knowledge, tools and working methodology. The latter covers the most important stages of innovation creation: from market research, prototype building and product validation, to implementation and growth. This is all thanks to a group of recognized entrepreneurs, technologists and marketers with years of experience in Silicon Valley.

– What sets us apart from other consulting firms is looking beyond the horizon. An essential element in our approach to building successful companies in the age of digital acceleration is to create new solutions first, rather than replicate existing patterns. Our vision is consistent with that of Netguru, which recognizes the need to change consulting and implements it – says Jon Corshen, co-founder of Pilot44.

The transaction was carried out in cooperation with the Foreign Expansion Fund, which together with Netguru invested in Pilot44. Bank Citi Handlowy provided financial support for the transaction, while James Oury, CLA and EY provided tax and legal advice.

– The Polish technology sector already has a strong export presence, and Netguru’s investment in US company Pilot44 is the best proof that Polish companies operating in this sector can reach for more and become important players in the mainstream of digital transformation. Over the past two years, there has been a huge acceleration in areas such as video conferencing technologies, artificial intelligence, collaborative software, digital payments or mobile security. These trends are changing the way companies approach the development of their business, as they have to react faster than ever to the changes taking place, and digital technologies are now becoming one of the key elements of building competitive advantage and accelerating growth. Thanks to the investment in Pilot 44, Netguru will be able to offer a comprehensive offer of strategic consulting, including in the area of implementing innovations and digital infrastructure, to clients all over the world – says Piotr Kuba, Board Member for Investments at PFR TFI.

Sebastian Perczak, head of the Corporate Banking Division of Citi Handlowy bank, points out: – Cooperation with Netguru is part of our strategy to be the first corporate bank with plans for growth and foreign expansion. Through a dedicated team of advisors and industry specialists we support Polish companies in the Digital segment. We have the expertise and know-how in this area, and being part of one of the largest financial institutions in the world, we can support our clients wherever they go. I am glad we could be a partner in this transaction and help Netguru realize its ambitious plans.

In 2021, Netguru achieved revenue of 230 million PLN (an increase of about 45 percent compared to 2020), while consistently maintaining EBITDA profitability above 15 percent for years. The company’s team currently consists of more than 900 people.


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