Global Marketer Datawords Acquires Vanksen

Last January, Paris-based multilingual digital content platform Datawords announced the acquisition of Luxembourg-based digital marketing firm Vanksen. According to a LinkedIn update from the company’s page, Vanksen’s expertise in social media, social data, strategic advising, and digital activation were key factors in the deal.

A Datawords representative told Slator that with the acquisition of Vanksen, “Datawords recorded a USD 65 million turnover in 2017 and now counts 500 FTEs (full-time equivalents) all over the world.” The company has “key hubs in terms of headcount” in Paris, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, New York, Brussels, Milan, and Barcelona.

Vanksen is Datawords’ second acquisition in three years, following video production company Digiprod in 2014.

Datawords declined to provide any specifics regarding the acquisition, though they mentioned that the company’s shareholders “Cathay Capital, Keensight Capital and Bpifrance have been very supportive through this process.”

Datawords offers what the company calls e-multicultural technologies, with services like language technology, online marketing, and localization. Slator was told via email that the acquisition lets Datawords offer Vanksen’s chief areas of expertise—“social media, search engine optimization, social data and e-reputation, strategic consulting and digital activation”—in 60 languages through its international content roll-out platform.

“Datawords and Vanksen already had some clients in common and the acquisition clearly leverages on the complementarity in terms of clients but also in terms of expertise, the representative said. “We do feel a growing demand from new or existing clients for this offer and we have already started to RFPs together.”

Vanksen will continue to operate under its own management team and brand. “This is how we proceeded with our first acquisition and it worked very well,” the Datawords representative said. “So well that it will be the founder of Digiprod – Julien Godinger – who will be taking care of the transition process to ensure a smooth integration within the Datawords group and to leverage business opportunities.”

As for future acquisitions, Slator was informed there were no ongoing negotiations, though the company is open for opportunities: “what we are building is an integrated global group dedicated to the international deployment of content and multilingual technologies.”

Asked which geographies Datawords is planning to expand into, the company representative said they are “convinced of the strong development potential” of their current geographical footprint in Europe, Asia, and America.

“North America is growing very fast as we opened our New York office three years ago, and interestingly we have met demand for our offer not only in the United States but also in Mexico and Canada,” the representative said. “In Asia, China will  be an important area of focus for us in 2018 and the years to come.”

For expert analysis and a full list of all deals covered on Slator including price, earnings or revenue multiples paid where available, sector, country, type, and more, download the Slator 2017 M&A Report.

Slator 2019 Language Industry M&A and Funding Report

34-page report. Language industry M&A and startup funding. Transaction valuations, trade sales, financial backing, private equity influence, main rationale, seller verticals, geographical analysis, startup funding analysis.