Ottawa’s Assent Compliance expands overseas with Netherlands, Malaysia offices

Matt whitteker
Matt Whitteker, co-founder and vice-president of growth, Assent Compliance. File photo
Editor's Note

This story was updated with revised headcount estimates for the Amsterdam and Penang offices from Assent Compliance.

Assent Compliance is setting up shop in Europe and Asia as it looks to bolster its existing overseas business.

The Ottawa-based firm, which develops software that helps its clients maintain regulatory compliance across their supply chains, announced Tuesday it’s opening offices in Amsterdam and Penang, Malaysia.

Global expansion has been a top priority for Assent Compliance ever since the company closed its massive $161-million series-C round last fall, according to the firm’s co-founder and vice-president of growth Matt Whitteker. He said Tuesday that management had been in talks with investors in recent months about where Assent could expand its global footprint to get the most bang for its buck.

Setting down roots in the European market made immediate sense, Whitteker said. The region represents 10-15 per cent of Assent’s overall revenue today, but the firm believes Europe’s total addressable market could be on par with North America.

“We work with some great customers there. And it's time to start servicing them from Europe,” Whitteker said.

To that end, the firm also announced Tuesday it has hired Patrick Klaver, a former SAP managing director, to lead its European market operations.

Whitteker said that when the company was deciding where in Europe to land, Amsterdam topped the list as an accessible tech hub with the talent Assent knew it would need to grow the region’s operations.

“When we plotted everybody on a matrix, Netherlands came out No. 1 in all the things that we're looking for,” Whitteker said. He added that the timing of Ottawa’s economic mission to the country next week, during which Mayor Jim Watson will cut the ribbon at Assent’s new offices, is “purely happenstance.”

The firm’s offices in Penang are less about courting new customers in Asia and more about supporting existing clients’ suppliers in the region. Whitteker said that the firm opted to land in Malaysia because the country provides access to staff fluent in a wide breadth of Asian languages and is more “business friendly” than other locales in the market.

Assent, which currently employs 350 people in Ottawa and some 500 worldwide, expects to hire 15 people in the Netherlands and 10 staff in Malaysia by the end of next year.