Investor BGF has invested £2.3m in business transformation and advanced data science consultancy Optima Partners.

Optima Partners is an Edinburgh-headquartered data science and transformation consultancy founded in 2013, with offices in London and Bristol.

It offers design-led customer and digital transformation services to clients across the customer, carbon and health sectors.

Using machine learning, the company identifies opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of customer engagement, marketing and servicing to maximise client return on investment.

Following recent strong trading performance, Optima Partners achieved 55 per cent year-on-year growth, delivering £5.75m in full year revenue at the end of June 2022, with a headcount of 44.

BGF’s investment will now boost the company’s aim of scaling the business to 100 employees, investing in SaaS services and expanding into new markets and sectors.

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.

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Investing alongside BGF, Thomas-Bland 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.

Alan Crawley, chief executive officer at Optima Partners, said: “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”

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Euan Baxter, investor at BGF, said: “Optima Partners uses data and machine learning in a way that can revolutionise marketing and customer experience, and this investment from BGF is designed to help the business achieve further scale.

“Rooted in Edinburgh as a centre of data excellence, the company has built on strong academic foundations to prove its credentials through innovative work with some of the biggest names in financial services, energy and pharmaceuticals.”

Thomas-Bland said: “Optima Partners’ approach combines key elements of my previous consulting and data science expertise.”

BGF is a long-term patient investor, making initial investments between £1m to £15m for a minority equity stake. The investment in Optima Partners follows a record year for BGF in Scotland, having invested close to £60m in 2021 in a diverse range of sectors, from technology to healthcare to consumer goods.