Globant Targets Place in Europe’s Top League
Europe is emerging as an increasingly important market for Globant, one of the fastest-growing software engineering vendors in the world. The company has more than doubled its global revenue in the last two years to $1.8bn, and while the US contributes to the lion’s share, Europe is emerging as an increasingly important part of the story.
This week, the company announced a deal to acquire Pentalog, a Paris-based IT services provider with 1,300 employees in countries including Romania, Moldova, Mexico and Vietnam, serving clients including Criteo, Adidas and TripAdvisor. The move will represent Globant’s largest takeover in Europe to date.
Globant launched in 2003 from its base in Buenos Aires and opened its first office in the UK just one year later. The company, which now has over 27,000 employees worldwide, has significantly stepped up its pace of expansion in Europe with a string of acquisitions in the last couple of years. This has included Salesforce specialist Cloudshift (UK), digital agency Habitant (Spain), lead management SaaS provider Walmeric (also in Spain) and Sysdata. The latter added a bridgehead in Italy of more than 300 employees.
The firm’s proposition is based around its “Studio” model, which has seen the creation of more than 30 different operating units focused on emerging technologies (such as the Metaverse, IoT and FinOps), industry sectors or enterprise platforms such as Salesforce, Microsoft and SAP. The Studio model puts the emphasison technology, and a good example of how it is able to cross-pollinate innovation from one industry to another is its work with automotive giant Nissan. Globant was able to harness its experience in the gaming space to support the launch of a new vehicle range, while playing a broader role in enhancing the customer digital experience.
While the company has a largely technology-centric approach to the market, it has also accumulated strong industry experience, with financial services and media & entertainment as the firm’s two largest sectors in terms of revenue contribution. Globant has a phenomenal track record in farming its key accounts and increased the number of clients contributing in excess of $5m annually, from 42 to 65 last year. Key European customers include LaLiga, Unicredit, and Virgin.
This progress is awe-inspiring given that Globant is still at an early stage in building its brand on this side of the Atlantic, and new business has primarily come through word-of-mouth. The company has a contract with football governing body FIFA to support its digital platform and also has a sponsorship tie-up that will help to raise its profile. The sports industry is an interesting focus area for Globant, which last year set up a joint venture with Spain’s top football competition LaLiga to further develop its LaLiga tech division in areas such as its OTT platform, fantasy gaming, and analytics for fan engagement.
Globant’s European business now has significant teams in Spain, the UK, and Italy, with a developing presence in France and Germany. While the company tends to use its delivery teams in Latin America to support its clients in North America, it leans more heavily on its resources in India and Eastern Europe (including Romania and Poland) to support its European accounts.
The company will continue to expand in its current European markets and is likely to hunt for further acquisition targets to move into new territories. The tie-up with LaLiga fits in with a broader strategy to drive differentiation through building IP and assets. Last year, the company launched an AI-powered test automation product called MagnifAI, designed to speed and enhance visual testing.
Globant has also recently launched Globant Create, a new Studio that helps clients to bake AI into their marketing strategies. The proposition combines the creative agency capability gained through acquisitions such as Habitant and Ad_Bid, and mashes together what were formerly two separate Studio offerings in Digital Sales and Digital Marketing.
Globant can be considered as part of that community of software engineering providers that have followed in the steps of the offshore giants and risen to prominence through a focus on custom development and customer experience. Along with the likes of Endava, Softserve, and Thoughtworks, Globant has scaled its business at speed, and the challenge will be to maintain its current trajectory. With a staff attrition level below many of its peers and a rising brand profile, there is a lot of headroom for growth in Europe in particular.