Applied Insight builds national security footprint through acquisition

The relationship with Zavda started out as a traditional type, evolved into partners in a joint venture and is now a business combination.

What started as a long-term partnership and formation of a joint venture has culminated in an acquisition by Applied Insight, a middle-tier national security company owned by the Acacia Group.

Applied Insight began working with Zavda nearly a decade ago in a traditional prime-subcontractor relationship, then they formed a joint venture in 2019.

Larry Denton, Applied Insight’s chief growth officer, said the venture's major wins over the last 18 months in the national security domain led them to the acquisition.

Zavda is a veteran-owned and woman-owned business focused on the national security market. The company's services include advanced analytics, software development and systems engineering to support intelligence missions.

“They had a footprint that was very important to us,” Denton said. “After some discussions, we realized a combination would benefit their growth and their customers as well.”

Applied Insight doesn’t share much about their national security customers and wins, but the company did pass $200 million in revenue for 2023. The workforce has also grown to over 600 people, Denton said.

Zavda adds another 40. Other terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

This is Applied Insight's seventh acquisition since its creation in 2018, when Acacia broke out the professional services business of Intelligent Decisions to form the business.

Applied Insight has built a business that is split between products such as Shift and Altitude -- which support cloud and infrastructure needs -- and services around cloud, analytics, cybersecurity and mission solutions.

Zavda adds to the services offered around network and systems engineering, analytics and mission support. Applied Insight’s products will complement those services.

“Our products and services really work hand-in-hand and drive our growth,” Denton said.

Applied Insight also is working more closely with Amazon Web Services to grow the use of that cloud offering and the IT product distributor Carahsoft to expand further across the market, Denton said.

The product and service approach is also meant to further distinguish the company in the areas of recruitment and retention.

“We are one of the few companies our size to have this product side,” Denton said. “It helps attract top-tier talent.”

The plan for Zavda to have the senior leaders come over with the acquisition and continue the relationships they have with customers.

Monument Capital Partners acted as Zavda’s financial adviser and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman was its legal counsel.