Well-known nearshore trailblazer Globant revealed parts of an ambitious, globally expansive growth strategy this week with the acquisition of a small and savvy mobile software developer in Silicon Valley. The acquisition, taken on face value, shows Globant is doing what very few Latin America-borne IT players have done in recent years: land onshore in the US, make an acquisition or two, and create US jobs in the process. (Outsourcing bashers, explain how such companies hurt the US economy.)
Globant, never afraid of standing out from the crowd, appears to be gathering increasing market velocity on its way to becoming one of the few ‘household’ names of Latin America IT services.
The firm enhanced its mobile and social-media capabilities this week by acquiring Nextive, a U.S. firm that specializes in those types of applications. Globant also became the first Argentina company to buy a U.S. company. (Price was not revealed.)
Nextive, based in San Francisco, will lead development in Globant’s Mobile Studio software unit. “Adding this talent will increase the Studio’s skills and naturally the number of people working on products for mobile devices, social apps, and to a small extent gaming,” said Martin Migoya, Globant co-founder and CEO. “Nextive will add expertise that will help us continue to develop innovative software. They have a lot of deep understanding of the popular mobile platforms, including iOS and Android.”
“We also expect that the deal will allow us to increase our presence in the U.S.,” Migoya said.
Globant already has several marquis brands it works with, including Google, EA, and LinkedIn. Migoya said 80% of their revenue comes from projects in the States. Nextive’s current client list includes GSN and Crowdstar. The company already has offices in Buenos Aires and Córdoba. “We will take advantage of those locations to serve clients,” Migoya said.
Globant is looking at other North American companies it might snatch up. “But honestly,” Migoya said, “there are not a lot of U.S. technology companies for sale right now that would be a good fit, that share the same culture the way Nextive does.”
One of the most interesting aspects of the acquisition is Globant’s pronouncement that it will be bringing jobs to the U.S. as a result. “We plan to hire 200 people within the next 18 months, starting very soon,” Migoya said. Although the country is suffering from high unemployment, Migoya said competition for skilled mobile developers is tough.
“We like to think that creating jobs for people is part of our what we do,” Migoya told Nearshore Americas. “Making money is important, of course, but if that is all we are trying to do, that is not very interesting.”
It appears to have been a good year for Globant so far. Earlier, the company landed $15 million in financing from two capital firms.
As for where the Globant/Nextive team might be focusing its efforts, Migoya said in an earlier interview that “the area that we’re seeing the most innovation happening these days is in social applications connected with the main social networks…. Corporations want applications that allow them to access that world, in order to target their customers in a more efficient and specific way – this is the big thing that’s bringing social networks into the news these days.”
Migoya also noted that Globant is “not an IT outsourcing company. We are a developer of software products for global customers.”
About those recurring rumors that Globant itself might be scooped up, Migoya chuckled. But he did say the company is considering going public, with the possibility of an IPO sometime in the next year.