NEWS17 January 2023

InSites Consulting buys Happy Thinking People

Europe M&A News

BELGIUM – Global insights agency InSites Consulting has acquired market research and innovation consultancy Happy Thinking People for an undisclosed sum.

Sven Arn

Headquartered in Munich and operating in Germany, Switzerland, France and India, Happy Thinking People was founded in 1989, initially as a qualitative specialist.

The move marks Ghent-headquartered InSites Consulting’s fourth acquisition in Europe, after it bought French creative crowdsourcing business eÿeka and UK insight communities company Join the Dots in 2019, followed by cultural consultancy Space Doctors in 2021.

Happy Thinking People will continue operating under its own brand name “until further notice”, according to InSites. Chief executive Sven Arn (pictured), an InSites Consulting shareholder, will become managing partner and join the group’s global partner board.

Arn will remain as managing director of Happy Thinking People for the transition period, helping to guide the organisation through the integration of the businesses.

The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but it will increase the headcount of InSites Consulting to over 900 across 23 locations and extend its European footprint, adding offices in Berlin, Munich and Zürich.

The deal will also mean InSites can bring combined research services to more of its clients and bolster its qualitative research offer.

Outside of Europe, InSites also acquired US consultancy Gongos last year, and has expanded its operations in Asia, buying Singapore-based ABN Impact and Taiwanese market research agency Answer in recent years.

Kristof De Wulf, co-founder and chief executive, InSites Consulting, said: “Clients of both organisations will benefit from an enhanced insight toolbox and thinking, from InSites Consulting’s proprietary platforms Square and Studio, to Happy Thinking People’s proprietary research approaches.”

De Wulf noted that the two agencies “speak the same language and share the same values”.

Arn added: “After 30 years of independence, becoming part of a larger organisation is a big step; but we were so excited to be approached by InSites Consulting, a company with a passion for understanding markets, understanding people, understanding brands, and above all, for turning insights into action for clients.”