Proteus acquires Sharktower to power a new wave of data-driven change

Proteus, the data-first change and transformation consultancy, today announces its acquisition of intelligent change delivery platform, Sharktower.

Founded in 1999, Proteus’ radically different approach to consultancy has powered $30bn of the world’s most challenging corporate change projects. Unlike ‘land and expand’ consultancies, the company aims to help businesses transform from the inside out, by giving them the tools and insights to plan, manage, and measure major transformation programmes in-house. 

It's a vision the team at Sharktower shares. The Edinburgh-based SaaS company developed its intelligent change delivery platform to enable corporate and scale-up businesses to deliver their objectives more confidently and consistently. At a time when change has become a constant, bringing Sharktower on board uniquely positions Proteus to give clients the clarity and certainty they need to respond to today’s challenges and deliver more successful long-term business outcomes.
Jason Sahota, CEO of Proteus, has ambitious plans. In the past year, he has overseen top line growth of Proteus’ client base by 35% and doubled the business’s headcount. With this acquisition he aims to extend its remit further across financial services, government, and the public services sector, targeting FTSE100 corporates, NGOs, and private equity firms as well as high growth scale up businesses. Proteus intends to work with at least half of the FTSE350 by 2025, helping firms build out their own change and transformation capabilities and, in turn, fuelling the insights that power the Proteus data eco-system.

Craig Mackay, Sharktower’s CEO, will become Chief Technology & Product Officer at Proteus, while his co-founder Lynsey Taylor will be Proteus’ Chief Client Experience Director. Craig joins the Proteus executive team, which is made up of Jason Sahota (CEO), Tony Russell (CGO), Lorraine Nichols (CFO), and Ronnie McCombe (Chair of the Board). 

As Proteus takes full ownership of Sharktower, the deal provides an exit for the investor base including main backers Equity Gap and Scottish Enterprise. This is the second positive exit for Equity Gap investors in 3 months and the first for a female-led portfolio company.  

Jason Sahota, CEO of Proteus, comments: “This is the beginning of a new dawn for managing and predicting change in organisations globally. The Sharktower platform is second-to-none, and by bringing it into the Proteus product suite we are offering something truly unique to the market. 

“Businesses are growing tired of the ‘land and expand’ approach from traditional consultancies, which create a dependency on outsourcing change and fail to upskill teams for the future. Leaders need a new solution; our integrated proposition means we can provide empowering data-led support at every stage of the journey that looks out of the windscreen, not the rear-view mirror.”

Craig Mackay, co-founder and CEO of Sharktower, adds: “For too long, organisations have seen change as a necessary evil, often prompted by crisis or failure. But we are living in a period of continual change; economic, technological and social shifts are transforming business, and the pandemic has only accelerated the need for leaders to see change as part of everyday life if they are to build a sustainable future.  “We’re proud to join forces with Proteus to become the only platform dedicated to continual data-driven business change. There is a strong cultural and ideological fit, and we’re confident that by combining our technology, data, and codified expertise the business will go from strength to strength.”

Alex Lusty, Investor Director for angel investment group Equity Gap adds:
“Equity Gap is delighted for Craig, Lynsey and the team at Sharktower. Their innovative technology is a great fit for Proteus, providing their clients with an exceptional solution driven change platform. This sale represents an excellent outcome for the founding team and our investors in Sharktower. Equity Gap is particularly pleased to see Lynsey become our first female founder to achieve a successful exit, demonstrating the value of diversity in leadership teams.”

Kerry Sharp, Director of Growth Investments at Scottish Enterprise adds: “Scottish Enterprise has been pleased to support and invest in Sharktower alongside Equity Gap. The acquisition by Proteus is a really positive development that will provide the company with a strong platform to achieve further growth, including the future creation of new jobs, as the company remains in Scotland under the Proteus banner”
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