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Spark's Qrious beefs up workforce with acquisition

By Paul McBeth

Sept. 4 (BusinessDesk) - Spark New Zealand's Qrious will boost its workforce by 70 percent after buying WhereScape Software's professional services arm for an undisclosed sum.

The big data analytics unit has signed a conditional agreement to buy NOW Consulting, which it says will accelerate its growth strategy. Qrious will take on 70 staff, giving it 170 employees in Auckland and Wellington.

NOW was previously called WhereScape Consulting and provides advice on data handling, warehousing and analytics.

A Spark spokeswoman declined to comment on whether NOW is profitable, saying it will support growth for the big data division.

"Qrious is a market-leader in data, analytics, AI and data-powered customer engagement. These are all areas that NOW Consulting customers are increasingly demanding," she said.

"For its part, NOW Consulting brings a wealth of expertise and capability in data integration, engineering and visualisation, an area where Qrious currently already successfully operates but one it has also identified as a key priority area to expand."

Spark has already beefed up Qrious through acquisition, buying marketing automation firm Ubiquity Software in 2017. While no price tag was disclosed, Qrious added $5 million of goodwill post the acquisition.

“We’re responding to the growing demand from New Zealand companies for foundational data solutions and services that enable them to unleash intelligence and fast-track their access to the hidden wealth in their data," Qrious chief executive Nathalie Morris said.

Qrious falls under Spark's other operating revenue line alongside the Morepork security services unit and Lightbox streaming service. That revenue was unchanged at $114 million in the year ended June 30 and up from $96 million in the 2017 year.

Spark shares rose 1.6 percent to $4.53 today, and are up 9.6 percent so far this year.


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