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Edinburgh data science advisory firm Optima Partners has received a multi-million-pound investment from capital investor BGF. The deal will serve to fund the consultancy’s growth drive, as it looks to add more than 50 new staff in the coming period.

Founded in 2013, Optima Partners is an Edinburgh-headquartered data science and transformation consultancy with offices in London and Bristol. The firm’s 44 staff work to provide design-led customer and digital transformation services to clients across the customer, carbon and health sectors, using machine learning to identify opportunities for clients to improve.

On this basis, Optima Partners achieved 55% year-on-year growth in its most recent results, delivering £5.75 million in full year revenue at the end of June 2022. As the firm looks to build on this momentum, it has sought external investment to fuel a hiring campaign that will scale the business to 100 employees, investing in SaaS services and expanding into new markets and sectors.

Alan Crawley and Karen Thomas-Bland - Optima

This has seen Optima Partners become the latest in a string of investments in consulting firms from BGF, an active growth capital investor in the UK and Ireland. Following the backing of Bambino Mio, Polar Technology, and The Chemistry Group, BGF has handed Optima Partners a £2.3 million injection.

Alan Crawley, Chief Executive Officer at Optima Partners, commented, “We pride ourselves on the calibre of our people, and Optima Partners’ ability to convert that into innovative customer-focussed marketing and servicing solutions for our clients. BGF’s investment will help us scale our business, allowing us to serve more customers. Enhancing the application of advanced data sciences, alongside the practical application of AI and machine learning, are other key pillars in our growth and expansion plans.”

Meanwhile, Karen Thomas-Bland has also been appointed as a Non-Executive Chair at Optima Partners, as the result of an introduction from BGF’s Talent Network, which is the UK’s largest pool of non-executive directors. Investing alongside BGF, Karen brings significant consulting and data science experience to Optima Partners with former roles including Partner of Strategy and Transformation at IBM Global, Executive Director of Strategy & Transformation at KPMG, and providing buyside investment assessment for Accenture and EY.

Thomas-Bland, Non-Executive Chair at Optima Partners, said of her appointment, “Optima Partners’ approach combines key elements of my previous consulting and data science expertise, so as soon as I was introduced via BGF’s Talent Network, it felt like a natural fit. It’s a privilege to join Alan and the growing team as the company scales into new areas with an industry-leading offer.”