After Sale to Accenture, Intrepid Eyes Next Chapter in Mobile Tech

When Mark Kasdorf started his software design and development shop, Intrepid Pursuits, in 2010, mobile apps were basically a box for businesses to check off on their corporate to-do list.

“It kind of felt like everyone needed an app, and no one knew why,” Kasdorf recalls. “These people within larger companies vaguely remembered messing up” the transition to the Web years earlier, and they weren’t going to miss the boat this time.

Seven short years later, mobile apps are core to countless sectors—from advertising and finance to gaming and nonprofits—and used to both sell products and reach new users. The explosive growth of mobile technologies is “dramatically changing virtually every industry,” Kasdorf says.

This week, Kasdorf’s Cambridge, MA-based company went through a dramatic change of its own. Intrepid was acquired by Accenture, the Dublin-based professional services and consulting giant, for an undisclosed price.

Intrepid wasn’t angling to get acquired, Kasdorf says. The bootstrapped company was out raising what would have been its first venture capital round. During those talks, Intrepid connected with Accenture and ultimately decided that joining the global firm would be the best option to continue Intrepid’s rapid growth pace, Kasdorf says. Intrepid has roughly doubled its revenue every year, he says, declining to share exact figures. The company currently employs 150 people in Cambridge and New York, up from 22 employees five years ago.

Everyone on Intrepid’s staff has joined Accenture Digital as a result of the acquisition. Kasdorf will continue leading the operation as a managing director of Accenture, he says.

Intrepid’s team will help Accenture clients design and develop digital products and services that span apps, websites, and connected devices, according to a press release. Over the years, Intrepid has built products for big companies like Procter & Gamble, startups like The Tap Lab, and nonprofits like the Boston public radio station WBUR.

Most of Intrepid’s projects currently focus on mobile apps, Kasdorf says, but he expects the team will work on a variety of emerging technologies, from augmented reality to voice-controlled products.

One of the key trends Accenture sees is the desire for better integration of technologies—both software and devices—says Ankur Mathur, a managing director of Accenture Digital. The era of standalone mobile apps or software programs is “probably going to start coming to an end,” he says. One example is Accenture’s digital services for agriculture, which analyze data culled from drones, satellites, sensors in the soil, and more, and serve up insights to farmers on a tablet screen, he says.

“The integration of all those technologies [and] dreaming up these services for our clients is really where the innovation landscape is going to move to,” Mathur says.

Jeff Engel is a senior editor at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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