US-based talent evaluation company SHL has acquired Aspiring Minds, a Gurugram and San Jose-based AI-powered test and assessment venture, in a largely all-cash deal.
Reportedly, investment bank DC Advisory played the role of the financial advisor for the deal.
As SHL strives to help organizations improve their business results with people investments based on more relevant insights, the expertise in assessments and credentialing which Aspiring Minds provide can help.
Andy Bradshaw, CEO of SHL shared, "This acquisition infuses Aspiring Minds' advanced AI technology throughout SHL's portfolio at a platform level and will leverage our rigorous science to enable the technical, emerging and leadership talent required for our 10,000-plus customers to succeed in the digital era."
Founded in 2008 by Himanshu and Varun Aggarwal, Aspiring Minds undertakes cognitive ability, personality, technology and job simulation tests for employers. It also provides pre-employment testing, qualified talent sourcing and campus hiring, among other services.
Eversince it was founded Aspiring Minds has scaled rapidly, with clients across the US, China, India, the Philippines and the Middle East. Now, with a new deal the team at Aspiring Minds is excited.
"We are excited about the opportunity to be part of SHL," said Himanshu Aggarwal, CEO of Aspiring Minds.
"Our focus is on real-world applications of AI and we see an opportunity for unprecedented innovation in joining SHL," added Varun Aggarwal, co-founder and CTO of Aspiring Minds.
As more and more organizations embrace technology and go digital, the first step is to assess and reflect how prepared are they to go on a transformation journey.
This is where SHL solutions comes into picture and seeks to help employers predict and map the necessary shift in talent priorities to drive positive outcomes. As Bradshaw said, "We see a noticeable gap between those who seek to transform their organizations with a digital strategy, and those who actually have the talent to do so."
Now with this acquisition SHL will get access to Aspiring Minds' AI-powered talent assessment and interviewing solutions, spanning a portfolio that includes coding, language, video interview and skills tests. It will further enhance SHL's solutions which combines machine learning technology with rigorous science and proprietary datasets that enable SHL customers to hire and develop the right talent with far greater accuracy and diversity.
Time will tell how SHL and Aspiring Minds benefit from this deal. But with tech adoption increasing rapidly there are many opportunities for the new combined business to tap onto.
The SHL and Aspiring Minds acquisition deal reminds of the all cash deal in 2016, where Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon Plc, had acquired Gurugram-based hiring assessment company CoCubes. Last year, Global HR consulting firm Mercer acquired Indian HR tech start-up Mettl, a data sciences-driven talent assessment and online assessment company. As HR service providers look to strengthen their existing solutions they turn to other tech-enabled HR solution providers. With the right combination of experience and expertise of one and advanced technology of other, the world of work is getting better and efficient talent solutions.
While players like CoCubes, Mettl and now Aspiring Minds gain from the additional resources and capabilities of acquirer, businesses like Aon Hewitt, Mercer and SHL get access to modern technologies. These acquisitions hence seem like a win-win deal for not only these businesses but the entire space of people and work.