Aussie AI company Faethm acquired by British education giant


Denham Sadler
National Affairs Editor

High flying Australian artificial intelligence startup Faethm has been acquired by British education giant Pearson less than four years after it was launched in Sydney.

Faethm provides data, insights and artificial intelligence capabilities to clients to improve decision-making on workforce issues, with clients including Boston Consulting Group, Microsoft and Rio Tinto.

The company also works with a number of government bodies across the Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America and the Middle East.

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Earlier this month the Australian startup announced that it had been acquired by Pearson, a UK-based education giant on the FTSE 100. Pearson is a giant in the education sector, with revenue of 3.4 billion pounds ($6.4 billion) in 2020. The company has more than 20,000 employees around the world, with its educational products and services used in nearly 200 countries.

The value of the acquisition was not revealed by either company.

The acquisition means Faethm’s AI tools will be used in Pearson’s new Workforce Skills division, and will see the creation of the “world’s first truly end-to-end future of work company”.

“We are delighted to be accelerating our mission and impact with Pearson,” Faethm co-founder Michael Priddis said.

“Integrating AI-driven insights from the world’s most sophisticated future of work platform with the world’s learning company will propel the pace of upskilling and reskilling for any organisation, enabling their employees to benefit from the opportunities that tomorrow brings.”

Pearson offers a range of learning products for workers to develop skills, and Faethm’s data and AI tools will be integrated into these, Pearson Workforce Skills president Michael Howells said.

“Pearson and Faethm believe that people are a company’s greatest asset, and we want to ensure everyone is prepared for the future of work,” Mr Howells said.

“Together, Faethm’s analytics capabilities and Pearson’s learning products will help companies of all sizes understand what skills they need and how to develop them. This is another key building block in Pearson’s strategy to help learners develop their talent and skills at every life stage, from school through to work.”

Pearson was advised on the acquisition by law firm Herbert Smiths Freehills.

Faethm was established by Mr Priddis, a former partner at Boston Consulting Group, and Greg Miller in 2017. The two co-founders will be joining Pearson’s leadership team as part of the acquisition.

Faethm participated in Austrade’s landing pad program in San Francisco in 2019, and was later invited to speak at South By South West.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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