Appen acquires Leapforce for $105 million

Appen is taking over the world, this time acquiring their competitor, US-based Leapforce for $105.3 million.

This will take the ASX-listed company to another level.

According to The Australian Financial Review, the deal is made up of 80 percent cash and 20 percent equity and will be funded by a new debt facility of $72.6 million, existing cash reserves of $5 million and a fully underwritten placement of $25 million.

Just Yesterday, Broker Bell Potter Securities launched Appen’s equity raising calling for bids into a $30 million equity raising, splitting up into a $25 million placement and a $5 million underwritten share purchase plan.

This will ultimately bring Appen’s market capitalization to $621.5 million.

Law Firm Baker McKenzie stepped up to advised Bell Potter Securities Limited as the underwriter for $30 million Appen’s equity raising.

Baker Mckenzie previously worked with Bell Potter Securities Limited, for the initial public offering and listing on ASX of Appen Limited in 2014.

Baker McKenzie lead partner on the transaction, Frank Castiglia stated they are excited to work with them again.

“The underwriting arrangements for this capital raising needed to be carefully structured to align with the requirements of the acquisition in the US and the ancillary debt financing arrangements,” he said.


Global Leader Status

Appen is already a global leader in its services for human-annotated data for machine learning and artificial intelligence.

With deep expertise in more than 180 languages and access to a global crowd of over 400,000 skilled contractors, they have big clients like Facebook and Microsoft.

Leapforce provides human evaluation and annotation of datasets for use in search, text, image, video, and mapping, helping their clients build better services and products.

Their global network of highly-skilled data analysts helps data scientists to build machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms.

“Leapforce is very efficient because it has a highly automated proprietary tech platform that finds people, allocates work, collects data, quality assures it and sends it to clients. That’s why it’s margins are so good, and we will be able to leverage that platform across our business,” Appen chief executive Mark Brayan said in a statement to The Australian Financial Review.

The acquisition is reported to bring a network about 1 million people.

This merger will place Appen as the leading provider in this field.

With AI being the trend now, this could birth a new and exciting development for the future.

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Appen acquires Leapforce for $105 million
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Australian government invests $8 million in blockchain