Management consultancy Deloitte today became the latest company to buy into the app marketplace with the news that it has bought the Seattle-based agency Ubermind, which develops interactive and mobile products for a number of companies, including perhaps most significantly Apple (NSDQ: AAPL). The price of the deal is believed to be between $40 million and $50 million.
The deal is being pitched as Deloitte’s next and logical step in the business consulting and professional services that it already offers to enterprise clients across different verticals — although in reality it appears to be the larger company’s first step to buying in strong mobile product expertise.
“We are focused on maintaining what was working,” notes Ubermind in its statement.
But it will be interesting to see how, and if, the new partnership changes what kind of work Ubermind produces, and if it can keep its startup mindset while becoming part of a behemoth. Until now Ubermedia was a relatively small business, with about 200 people working for it across Seattle and Denver. Deloitte, the second-largest consultancy around after PwC, is a global multi-national with more than 180,000 employees. Not exactly fleet of foot.
Still Ubermind has already racked up experience working for at least one of the biggest companies around in terms of market cap, and one of the biggest tech juggernauts of the decade. Among clients like Target and REI, for whom it develops mobile apps and interactive websites, the company has worked for more than 10 years with Apple: its engineers, the company says, “worked on the very first Apple Online Store” and it has also worked on iTunes, Apple’s print services, Apple’s online store and the company’s own iPhone app.
Ubermind says it will become part of Deloitte’s tech practice, leading in strategy, creative, mobile apps and web development for enterprise clients.