Deloitte Canada acquires Calgary-based AI and data firm Groundswell Group


Deloitte Canada has acquired Groundswell Group, a Calgary-based artificial intelligence (AI) and data integration firm.

Following the deal, Groundswell’s 133-person team will join Deloitte’s Canadian consulting practice, under Omnia AI. Groundswell will also continue to serve clients in Western Canada. Deloitte Canada declined to disclose the financial terms of the acquisition to BetaKit.

Groundswell marks Deloitte Canada’s second acquisition of 2021, with its first being TWG.

Founded in 2001, Groundswell delivers a variety of services to help its clients capitalize on the value of data. The firm does not sell a specific software, however, its team provides niche expertise to firms spanning the oil and gas, retail, utilities, finance, and manufacturing sectors, among others.

“Joining forces with Deloitte feels a little like we’re finally putting the puzzle pieces together,” said Darren Sartison, previously president at Groundswell, joining Deloitte as a partner. “Our customers’ opportunities grow as the intersection of business and technology continues to merge. By combining Groundswell’s technical depth and capabilities with Deloitte’s comprehensive AI and data offerings, from strategy to implementation to operations, we’re truly stronger together.”

Deloitte Canada said the deal is aimed to enhance its own digital transformation capabilities, including machine learning, intelligent automation, and cloud data engineering.

Groundswell marks Deloitte Canada’s second acquisition of 2021. In February, the organization acquired application development and data engineering consultancy The Working Group (TWG). TWG was a key player in the early days of Toronto’s tech scene.

The demand for these sorts of capabilities has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic, Deloitte Canada claimed in a recent statement. This claim is reflected in some of the growth seen across Canadian tech startups operating in this space.

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Tealbook, which recently raised an $18.2 million Series A round of funding, said COVID-19 has highlighted the need for quality data. The startup claimed to see significant growth in demand for its data products and attributed this growth directly to the pandemic. Cinchy, another Canadian data startup, highlighted in May that the pandemic is underscoring the need for robust data, notably from a public health perspective.

Last year, Amy Webb, CEO of the Future Today Institute, said the pandemic is forcing businesses to think about data differently, which is creating both opportunities and challenges. She noted that data should be an always-on process for businesses.

“This is a very exciting time for AI and cloud transformation, and pairing up with Groundswell is yet another way of showing our commitment to helping Canada transform as a country by serving this fast-growing space and our mid-market and large clients,” said Anthony Viel, CEO of Deloitte Canada.

“Not only does this move secure Deloitte’s position as the number one artificial intelligence consultancy in Canada, but it’s an especially big win for how we serve our Western Canada and national clients with end-to-end services to help them transform at scale and thrive,” added Viel.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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