WPP has acquired UCL spinout Satalia for an undisclosed amount, almost 13 years after being founded.
Satalia, a UK-based enterprise artificial intelligence technology developer spun out of University College London, has been acquired by advertising group WPP for an undisclosed amount.
The spinout will become part of WPP’s marketing communications services agency, Wunderman Thompson. Daniel Hulme, chief executive of Satalia who developed the spinout’s technology, will become WPP’s chief AI officer.
Founded in 2008, Satalia builds AI technologies to help improve the business efficiency of clients such as retailer Tesco, consumer conglomerate Unilever, telecoms firm BT and professional services group PwC.
The company, legally incorporated as NPComplete, had received initial proof-of-concept funding from UCL Business, the institution’s tech transfer subsidiary, but does not appear to have disclosed additional funding details.
Steven Schooling, director, engineering and physical sciences at UCL Business, said: “We are proud to have supported Daniel Hulme and Satalia from the start of their journey when AI was not the commonly known term that it is today, through to today’s announcement.
“UCL Business’s purpose is to maximise the real-world impact of the skills, knowledge and vision of UCL’s researchers.
“Satalia’s acquisition by WPP is a prime example of the particularly huge potential in our early career researcher base where the entrepreneurial environment of UCL and the business support infrastructure provided by the UCL Business team helps such talent reach fruition.
“We are delighted that the Satalia team will now go on to play a key role in driving the future growth and technology leadership of one of UK Plc’s most famous companies.”