Bain & Co buys Pyxis, building out consumer-behavior capabilities

The global consultancy has completed or is in the process of completing eight investments over the past two years

Bain & Co is expanding its private equity due-diligence offerings to include consumer behavior analytics through the acquisition of Pyxis, the global consultancy told PE Hub.

Boston’s Bain and the less than three-year-old Pyxis already know each other well, having worked closely on more than 50 diligence engagements to date, according to Pyxis.

“We’ve been working with Pyxis on diligences since 2017,” Richard Lichtenstein, expert vice president in Bain’s Private Equity and Advanced Analytics practices, told PE Hub. “Last fall, after many successful projects together, we started exploring the idea of a deeper partnership or acquisition.”

More specifically, Pyxis’s offerings complement Bain’s existing consulting services provided on consumer- and retail-oriented PE deals, the firm said.

“With these new capabilities, we will be able to offer even more valuable insights and hopefully advise on even more transactions,” Lichtenstein said.

Pyxis, of New York, is a consumer behavior analytics firm that uses various alternative data sources to generate actionable insights around how and why consumers buy, how they pay, how much they spend and how their needs and demands are changing.

Its capabilities include granular market share analysis, online market size estimates, share-of-wallet analysis, consumer behavior profiling, real-time monitoring of consumer preferences, optimized product pricing and SKU assortments.

The firm was launched in December 2016 by Co-CEOs and Co-Founders Max Lee and Ian Weber, according to Lee’s LinkedIn profile.

Lee and Weber previously worked together as colleagues and analysts at Fore Research and Management, a New York hedge fund.

While Bain has long been active in evaluating potential acquisitions, the firm’s inorganic growth activity has picked up meaningfully in recent years, Bain told PE Hub.

“Private equity consulting at Bain has grown eightfold over the past 15 years and now represents about one quarter of the firm’s global business,” Lichtenstein said.

Bain has completed or is in the process of completing eight investments over the past two years, including acquisitions or investments in two consulting firms, an advanced analytics provider, and a digital marketing agency, plus a number of strategic growth investments in other partners.

For example, the global consultancy in May 2018 agreed to buy FRWD, a Minneapolis-based digital agency.

Bain, founded in 1973, has a global presence spanning 58 offices in 37 countries.