Software testers for MindSpark Inc. of Santa Monica

Software testers for MindSpark Inc. of Santa Monica

An award-winning German firm that employs professionals with autism across Europe is acquiring Santa Monica–based MindSpark Inc. to mark its entry into the U.S. market.

Auticon GmbH, based in Berlin, has agreed to pick up the Los Angeles-area benefit company that hires adults with autism and other developmental disabilities to test software for various companies, according to a spokesman.

Details of the deal were not disclosed. The sale is expected to be finalized and announced June 19. The combined enterprise will be known as Auticon.

Auticon claims to be the world’s leading employer of adults on the autism spectrum, offering IT services from business analytics to artificial intelligence to software testing.

Its employees have contracted with such Fortune 500 companies as BMW AG, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Allianz SE, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, and Siemens AG out of offices in Germany, the United Kingdom and France.

Major investors include Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group Ltd., Felix and Susanne Porsche, Yabeo Management GmbH and Ananda Ventures GmbH.

MindSpark, founded in 2013 by IT services entrepreneur Chad Hahn, is co-owned by Gray and Wendy Benoist. The IT company has about five employees and offers positions for another 25 adults with autism who have completed a three-month training course in software testing.

Health business reporter Dana Bartholomew can be reached at dbartholomew@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @_DanaBart.