Private equity, Enterprise, Content

IT Solutions Provider Mphasis Buys Blink UX Consultancy for $94M


IT solutions provider Mphasis, backed by private equity firm Blackstone, has acquired Blink UX, a user experience (UX) design firm in Seattle, Washington. The deal is valued at $94 million, though an EBTIDA valuation multiple was not disclosed.

This is technology M&A Deal number 589 that ChannelE2E has covered so far in 2021. See all technology M&A deals for 2021 and 2020 listed here.

Extending From IT Services to UX Product Design: Fast-Growth Opportunity

So what drove this deal? The simple answer involves a fast-growing blue-ocean opportunity. Indeed, the Total Addressable Market for the upstream user research, strategy and design -- areas where Blink UX thrives  -- is growing at four- to five-times faster than the overall IT services market, Mphasis CEO Nitin Rakesh asserts.

With that growth opportunity in mind, BlinkUX focuses on research, strategy and design services to help enterprises create "transformative digital products, brands, and experiences," the seller says. Blink, founded in 2000 in Seattle, also has offices in Austin, Texas; Boston, Massachusetts; San Diego, California; and San Francisco, California. The acquired business has roughly 130 employees.

Meanwhile,  Mphasis specializes in application, blockchain, cloud, cognitive computing, cybersecurity and DevOps services, among other areas of focus. Blackstone acquired majority ownership of Mphasis from Hewlett Packard Enterprise in 2016. At the time, Mphasis had about 23,500 employees. More recently, a different Blackstone fund committed up to $2.8 to acquire a controlling stake in Mphasis. That move surfaced in April 2021.

Mphasis Acquires Blink: Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement about the deal, Mphasis CEO Nitin Rakesh said:

“Customer centricity is foundational to Mphasis and is reflected in Mphasis’ Front2Back Transformation approach. The acquisition of Blink, consistent with our M&A focus, is in the forefront of providing well researched design and high impact digital experiences to our clients and their end customers. The Total Addressable Market for the upstream user research, strategy and design is growing four to five times faster than the overall IT Services market. There is significantly increased focus on customer/ user centered design in the current environment. The synergy opportunity set will revolve around Product, Experience & Service design, as well as the end-to-end implementation services across the spectrum of clients & industries we service together.”

Added Blink CEO Karen Clark Cole:

“Designing products that people use, love and remember is always our mission. Understanding user behavior, through qualitative research is the foundation of our product strategy and experience design work. Knowing what motivates a product’s customers, including their context of use, mental model, needs and opportunities, allows us to design experiences that are intuitive, innovative, useful, and usable. Designing products that meet user needs, and are friction free, is how we delight customers and enrich their lives through technology. We are so thrilled to now have Mphasis’ engineering skills as part of our core, providing end-to-end services for our clients and following our designs through to launch."

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.