Acquisition creates a UK & Global leader to help organisations win in the Digital Revolution
2nd July 2021 – QA, owned by CVC Capital Partners VI, today announced the acquisition of Circus Street, a global leader in providing commercial digital skills including ecommerce, data analytics and digital marketing skills through its subscription-based, proprietary digital platform.
QA, the UK’s #1 Technology skills organisation, with a growing US presence, provides the critical training and talent solutions that technology functions require to help their organisations win in the Digital Revolution, spanning critical disciplines such as cloud computing, cyber security, software engineering, data, and agile. By bringing the two companies together QA can now also help organisations build their capabilities in the essential digital marketing and data analytics skills that commercial functions also require to win.
Circus Street, founded in 2009 by brothers Richard and Jonny Townsend, is an award-winning online training solution which allows global businesses to build and develop digital capabilities across their organisation at scale. Its library of engaging, entertaining, and informative lessons delivered through its world-leading learning platform consistently delivers exceptional business outcomes for the world’s largest brands. Circus Street’s unique product offering blends technology, education and visual arts, paired with its best in class account management service, and has resulted in previously unseen levels of learner engagement, net promoter scores and customer advocacy.
Combination to accelerate customers’ digital transformations
QA’s acquisition of Circus Street also builds on its earlier acquisition of Cloud Academy, which helps global organisations grow their Tech skills via their market-leading, subscription-based, digital platform. The addition of Circus Street to the QA family allows them to play an even greater role in driving digital transformation, using Circus Street to build digital and data capabilities across their entire enterprise, and Cloud Academy to systematically assess, build and validate the skills of their tech teams to deliver it. This acquisition also means QA is able to offer its clients the broadest choice of different modes of training to fit their circumstances, from live virtual to in-classroom training, and fully digital, self-paced training.
The acquisition of Circus Street represents a significant increase in QA’s global reach, with over 500,000 learners in over 150 countries having used the platform to date.
Companies of every size and industry are transforming how they do business in the digital age – and customers and data are at the heart of those transformations. This creates an incredible opportunity for QA and Circus Street, with IDC projecting worldwide spending on technologies and services to reach $1.8 trillion in 2022.
“Circus Street is a great company, with an amazing product and team and an enthusiastic global user base,” said Paul Geddes, CEO, QA. “Together we help our clients not only see the potential for digital and data to transform the products they design and how they take them to market, but also recruit, upskill and reskill the tech teams to build and run these products using modern tech approaches and platforms.”
Richard Townsend, CEO Circus Street said, “The choice of QA was obvious to us as they share our cultural values and our recognition of the importance of every individual within our business. They, like us, are focused on liberating education through innovation and inclusion and we’re tremendously excited to build on the amazing progress that both our companies have made.”
Jonny Townsend, President Circus Street said, “This acquisition allows us to significantly expand on our commercial success across our core regions of the Americas, EMEA and APAC. Together we will build an offering that further enhances the uniqueness of our proposition and continue to help the world’s largest brands understand how technology is modernising every aspect of their operations.”
“Today our clients tell us they want to understand and build digital capability right across their business, away from the traditional silos that stand in the way of full digital transformation. As someone who already provides apprenticeships in Data and Digital marketing, we already see how these disciplines are at the foundation of every digital transformation, and that’s why we’ve been keen to extend our solutions into the commercial functions that design products and take them to market” said Srikanth Iyengar, Chief Client Officer, QA. “Circus Street’s leading digital learning platform and exceptional content will make QA’s enterprise offer stronger than ever. We have significant opportunities to introduce Circus Street to QA’s clients, particularly in Financial Services, Tech, and Government, and to introduce QA to Circus Street’s clients in FMCG, Pharma and Manufacturing.”
Circus Street and its shareholders were advised by Houlihan Lokey (corporate finance).