CHICAGO – West Monroe Partners, a full-service business and technology consultancy, today announced the acquisition of GoKart Labs, a Minneapolis-based digital product studio that works alongside clients to invent, design, and build digital experiences to solve business problems.
The acquisition of GoKart Labs’ specialized capabilities in launching digital products and businesses establishes a more comprehensive set of digital offerings for clients. Combined with West Monroe, the firm will create digital products and experiences, transform how organizations work by building digital into their operations, and build scalable technology platforms.
“GoKart Labs blends business and creative skills to solve business issues and provide greater value and differentiation for their clients, aligning perfectly with our approach for driving value through our uncommon blend of business and technology expertise,” said Greg Layok, managing director of West Monroe’s national technology practice. “When you incorporate GoKart Labs’ iterative design thinking and product expertise into West Monroe’s proven consulting approach and deep-rooted industry teams, our clients will be able to achieve even better returns, faster, for their digital transformation efforts.”
GoKart Labs was co-founded in 2009 by Don Smithmier and A.J. Meyer, employs more than 50 people, and has served hundreds of clients in the healthcare, financial services, and education industries. Its rapid growth earned the company places on the Inc. 5000 list, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Fast 50, and Minne Inno 50 on Fire. In joining, they double West Monroe’s presence in Minneapolis, where the firm has operated since 2013. The studio will continue to be based out of Minneapolis, but will serve clients nationally as West Monroe builds out additional studios in other offices.
“GoKart Labs’ ability to invent, design, and build custom digital experiences for industry-leading companies particularly aligns well with a large part of West Monroe’s client base,” said Tom Ewers, managing director and leader of West Monroe’s Minneapolis office. “West Monroe has also found a great company, with strong alignment on culture values, as well as extraordinary creative talent. I couldn’t be happier that it’s in Minneapolis.”
In addition to complementing one another’s services, West Monroe and GoKart Labs share a similar workplace culture that encourages innovation and intrapreneurship, and supports stewardship, ownership, and employee recognition. Both West Monroe and GoKart Labs have been named a Star Tribune Top Workplace and a Minneapolis/St. Paul Best Place to Work.
“In West Monroe, we found a company that shares our values and entrepreneurial spirit, while also bringing a huge array of complementary skills to help scale the important work we do for category-leading clients,” said Don Smithmier, who prior to founding GoKart Labs in 2009 spent 14 years at Capella Education. He joins West Monroe as a senior director on the digital team. “This gives our team immediate access to a national brand presence and 1,400 colleagues with deep industry knowledge and end-to-end digital skills, all of which will significantly amplify results for clients and present new opportunities for our people.”
Co-founder A.J. Meyer also joins West Monroe as an Innovation Fellow, a unique and distinguished role in the firm that focuses on innovation to address emerging market issues and support clients in developing market-leading strategies.
West Monroe’s acquisition of GoKart Labs comes at a time when enterprises are spending an estimated $2 trillion annually on digital transformation technology, according to IDC. The consulting industry is experiencing double-digit growth in demand for digital transformation consulting services, for which the market size was $33.1 billion in 2018.
The acquisition, effective immediately, is the second for West Monroe in 2019 and the largest in its 17-year history. In April, the firm acquired Chicago-based Waterstone Management Group, an advisory firm for private equity firms and Fortune 500 companies.
About West Monroe Partners
West Monroe is a national business and technology consulting firm that partners with dynamic organizations to reimagine, build, and operate their businesses at peak performance. Our team of more than 1,400 professionals is comprised of an uncommon blend of business consultants and deep technologists. This unique combination of expertise enables us to design, develop, implement, and run strategic business and technology solutions that yield a dramatic commercial impact on our clients’ profitability and performance. For more information, visit www.wmp.com.