HR consulting firm Mercer buys Indian start-up Mettl for ₹250 crore

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on October 08, 2018 Published on October 08, 2018

Global HR consulting firm Mercer has acquired Indian HR tech start-up Mettl, a data sciences-driven talent assessment and online assessment company, for an estimated ₹250 crore.

The acquisition, which followed eight years of assessment, marks Mercer’s entry into the global talent assessment market.

US-based Mercer is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies and operates in over 130 countries.

Mettl measures talent using assessments and big data analytics. It is co-founded by school friends Tonmoy Shingal and Ketan Kapoor. Both promoters are to continue to stay on with the firm for the next three years to ensure that their 380 employees based in Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hhyderabad and Kolkatta are “properly taken care of and continue to be motivated.”

Speaking to BusinessLine, Kapoor said, “We have a strong incentive for three years to stick around. The deal will give us access to additional resources and capabilities, and will help us gather new learnings. The global leader has invested in us because of our products, tools and people. With this deal, Mettl’s offerings can also be rolled out globally and this would be an exciting new journey for us.”

Revenues at the Indian firm last year were around ₹ 60 crore. Though the company has been growing at 100 per cent year-on-year, Kapoor said the acquisition would help generate 60-80 per cent growth next year.

Mettl would continue to operate as a seperate entity with its clients exposed to Mercer products. “Our brand identify continues. We have not discussed any name change,” said Kapoor, adding that the HR major has been scouting for acquisitions “in the HR assessment business” for some time.

Last month, US-based Marsh & McLennan bought British insurance and reinsurance broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson for $5.7 billion. Marsh’s middle market agency subsidiary, Marsh & McLennan Agency, acquired Eustis Insurance & Benefits, an independent insurance agency in Louisiana, the US, for an undisclosed price.

To cater to India’s investments and retirement market, Mercer acquired investment advisor, India Life Capital, this June, thereby expanding its presence in the wealth and investments space. The acquisition was against the backdrop of the ongoing pension reform in the country, and the increased demand for third-party investment advisory services for retirement funds.

Mercer is one of the world’s largest investment advisory firms, with approximately $240 billion assets under delegated management.

Experts said the Mercer and Mettl deal reflects the increasing interest of global companies in the HR tech start-up space and their advanced solutions. Avendus Capital, the exclusive financial advisor involved in the acquisition, maintained the rising interest from large multinationals in Indian technology assets.

Given the ongoing digital disruption in the human resources sector, the global firm said it decided to invest in the Indian company to gather tools that would help it deliver talented workers.

“Mercer started its assessment late 2010 and it has taken them eight years. The deal speaks volumes of the maturing Intellectual Property prowess that we have in India. It clearly shows Indian entrepreneurs can build products that are best in class,” said Kapoor.

Published on October 08, 2018
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