Leawood-based artificial intelligence firm Torch.AI recently expanded its team and capabilities through the acquisition of B23 — a Virginia-based data extraction software company, noted Adam Lurie, chief strategy officer of Torch.AI
“Our belief is that the combination of Torch.AI’s software platform Nexus, alongside the subject matter expertise and customer capabilities of B23, will allow us to turbocharge the government’s ability to obtain insights and information from their data. B23 is dealing with an incredibly complex data problem, so by combining the two capabilities, we’re enabled to provide better outcomes for the government,” Lurie told Startland News.
A successful acquisition — financial terms of the deal were undisclosed — involves not only tactical and financial strategies, but also a crucial emotional component, Lurie continued.
With that in mind, Lurie has two must-ask questions for someone who is selling their business: What do you want to do after the acquisition, and what is motivating you to do this?
“From their response, you know pretty quickly which sellers are exclusively in it for the financial gain and don’t want to participate in the business moving forward, versus others who are willing and ready to join a bigger team,” Lurie explained. “Asking that question early-on allows for the right structure of a deal, and then more importantly, enables the right structure and plan for an integration.”
In the recent acquisition, Brad Kolarov — former Navy SEAL and managing partner at B23 — joined Torch.AI’s executive team as vice president.
“I am excited for the B23 team to join forces with Torch.AI and to continue to bring forth our customer centric mindset,” Kolarov shared in a press release. “Ever since I put on the uniform, I have been hyper-focused on strengthening our national security posture. The team at Torch.AI shares the same values, and I look forward to growing together.”
The culture and mission of the two companies was a natural fit, Lurie added. Although the majority of the B23 team is based around Washington D.C. to serve its customer base, Torch.AI’s headquarters will remain in Kansas — a sentiment that CEO Brian Weaver has been firmly committed to in the past.
“We’re two like-minded, mission-focused, customer-driven companies,” Lurie said. “… [The B23 team is] coming out to the Torch headquarters in Kansas soon, and we’re looking forward to giving them the great, big Torch hug. Because moving forward, we have to be one consolidated team.”
Torch.AI’s acquisition of B23 comes less than two months after their announcement of acquiring The DataTech Group — a technology solutions provider that drives software and technical expertise across data warehousing solutions and decision support systems — and the acquisitions won’t stop here, Lurie teased.
“We’ve got an incredible aggressive growth plan in 2022 and beyond,” Lurie said. “A lot of that is going to be based on inorganic growth — so buying additional companies to help scale and improve our capabilities and obtain new customers. We have quite a few acquisitions in our pipeline. I would expect that you’ll be seeing multiple announcements from us in the next 90 days.”
Click here to read about Torch.AI’s acquisition that expanded its reach with the Department of Defense.