ROBO Brief: Intuit's Impressive Mailchimp Acquisition, A Blue Prism Boom & Vaccine Manufacturing

    This week, we discuss Intuit's acquisition of digital marketing leader Mailchimp, the recent surge in Blue Prism's stock price, and Catalent's critical role in the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines. Join our webinar next Wednesday, September 22nd to learn about the boom in M&A across robotics, automation, and healthcare technology and receive exclusive early access to our M&A Report. 

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    Please enjoy these insights from our research team.

    AI powered platform will bolster Intuit’s marketing automation offerings 

    After much speculation and a bidding war with competitors, Intuit announced its largest acquisition ever with its $12 billion offer or 12x sales for digital marketing leader Mailchimp. The parent company of TurboTax and QuickBooks, Intuit is a THNQ index member from inception and has been on a buying spree to advance its push to provide advanced data analytic capabilities to its small and mid-size customer base. Over the last 5 years, Intuit has been adding hundreds of developers to their data science team, and in 2020 Intuit purchased Credit Karma for $8 billion, one of the largest FinTech acquisitions recorded in the industry. Acquisitions like Credit Karma and Mailchimp provide valuable insight into customers’ data using predictive analytics and AI algorithms. Mailchimp has developed and utilized AI capabilities and machine learning tools for the past decade to help small businesses grow their online presence using smart tools. Intuit’s ultimate vision in acquiring companies like Mailchimp is to level the playing field for their customers by providing access to the same AI capabilities for smaller enterprises that their larger competitors are currently enjoying. 


    With Mailchimp’s integrated AI-powered platform and 13 million users worldwide, Intuit clients can now quickly establish digital presence, scale their marketing efforts and even accept online payments. The tremendous amount of data collected from customers’ marketing initiatives gives Intuit’s customers recommendations and automation that will help these smaller businesses succeed in this increasingly digital world.


    Blue Prism Sees Shares Surge Amid Buyout Discussions

    Blue Prism, a London-based pioneer of Robotic Process Automation, saw its shares surge more than 30% after confirming discussions with top-tier private equity funds Vista Equity Partners and TPG Capital for a possible buyout. Both 2020 and 2021 have seen monumental digital transformations in the corporate world and process automation, which greatly improve processes and workflows to provide superior services, playing a large role as we enter a new age of digital-first collaboration.


    Yet notable activist investor Coast Capital believes that Blue Prism’s management and board should not accept the deal, due to their being vastly undervalued. We are not surprised. Blue Prism, the third largest RPA player, currently trades at a steep discount vs. industry leader UI Path. Blue Prism is trading on 6.5x revenue - a 70-80% discount to UI Path’s 33x, despite a client base of over 2000 enterprise customers with 98% revenue retention and maintains a 10% share of the global RPA market, according to Gartner. There are certainly contributing factors to a valuation gap, including the company’s need to continue investing aggressively to compete with UI Path, which raised $1.3bn in its April 2021 IPO. However, the valuation gap appears enormous in light of an RPA market expected to grow 38% annually to $13.5bn by 2028, according to GrandView Research.


    The Lesser Known Investment Opportunities Behind COVID Vaccines

    Over five billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to date. While Moderna has been among those in the spotlight, there are companies behind the scenes enabling Moderna to manufacture nearly a billion doses this year. These partners, Lonza and Catalent, are CDMO’s (contract development manufacturing organizations), and both are in HTEC’s Process Automation subsector. Catalent in particular has invested heavily in highly specialized manufacturing capabilities, and it’s paying off.  Last month, the company increased its long-term growth target to up to 8-10% from 6-8%.


    CDMOs operate in a highly competitive industry. Catalent is unique in that it focuses heavily on highly specialized drug manufacturing, like biologics, and can do it at scale.  Many pharma companies use Catalent to manufacture their drugs as they begin clinical trials, and then continue with the company when the drugs eventually come to market. Because of this, Catalent tends to have very lengthy customer lifespans. This is what happened with Moderna, and now that Catalent has developed expertise in mRNA manufacturing, they are very well positioned to expand this relationship and others, as more mRNA therapies come to market over time.

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