An Edinburgh-headquartered data science and transformation consultancy will double its headcount after a seven-figure boost.

Growth capital investor BGF has invested £2.3 million in Optima Partners, supporting it to grow its workforce from 44 to 100, further develop its software as a service (SaaS) solutions, and expand into new markets.

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

Using machine learning, it 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.

Karen Thomas-Bland, non-executive chair, Optima Partners/Supplied

It comes as Karen Thomas-Bland is appointed as a non-executive chair at Optima Partners.

Her former roles include partner of strategy and transformation at IBM Global, executive director of strategy and transformation at KPMG, and providing buyside investment assessment for Accenture and EY.

Alan Crawley, chief executive 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. 

“Karen’s appointment as our non-executive chair will be of great value given her considerable consulting and data science expertise.

“We are grateful for BGF facilitating the appointment through its Talent Network.”

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, so as soon as I was introduced via BGF’s Talent Network, it felt like a natural fit.

“It’s a privilege to join Alan and the growing team as the company scales into new areas with an industry-leading offer.”