WPP acquires Satalia for efficiency-increasing AI tech – The Drum

WPP’s accelerated growth strategy shows no sign of slowing, with the addition of artificial intelligence (AI) technology company Satalia for an undisclosed sum to modernize its sprawling empire.

As a provider of AI solutions driven by machine learning and optimization, Satalia has won business from companies including BT, DFS and Unilever to bring its skills to bear on improving client business strategies and efficiency.

The deal will see Satalia folded into Wunderman Thompson Commerce, serving as a hub of AI expertise for all WPP agencies, with founder Dr Daniel Hume becoming group chief AI officer with responsibility for R&D, AI ethics, partnerships, talent and products.

Hume brings over 20 years of experience working in the field and is a regular TEDx speaker, a Kauffman Global Scholar and a lecturer for the LSE’s Marshall Institute.

Satalia employs more than eighty people across Europe and is best known for its Workforce and Delivery products, the former serving to automate and optimize the division of labor. Satalia Delivery, meanwhile, optimizes the scheduling and routes of delivery vehicles in real-time as orders come through, attracting the likes of DFS, Selecta and Australian supermarket chain Woolworths.

Satalia’s proficiency in logistics and supply chain management has seen it employed by Tesco to help formulate its last-mile delivery solution.

Mark Read, chief executive of WPP, said: “Advances in technology are revolutionizing how people live, work and shop, how brands go to market, and how products and services are delivered. Clients are looking for end-to-end solutions that harness these technologies to grow their business.”

The acquisition comes as a mood of optimism sweeps WPP in light of its financial performance through the first half of 2021.

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