I was a little concerned that an investor might come in and try to take over but LDC made it clear they weren’t about to break something that was working well. They weren’t buying stock and shares; they were backing the management team and our plan.”Martin McKay, Founder & CEO
Ask the Leader – Martin McKay, Founder and CEO of Texthelp
Why did you choose to take on board private equity investment?
Our existing venture capital investors wanted to exit the business but I didn’t. LDC helped come up with a structure that would allow me to roll my investment forward, while also reinvigorating the business for the next stage of growth.
How did LDC support you and your business to grow?
When you take on private equity investment, you typically bring on board a new chairman to support with future strategy. Our new chairman was very keen that we invest in product development, not just for the education industry but for our workplace customers. LDC helped us to release a new product last year, and we have a very healthy pipeline of new releases for this year and beyond. When your software company is 30 years old, you have to keep reinventing yourself. If you don’t innovate, you become a dinosaur.
What did you think about private equity before you took on investment?
Initially I was a little concerned that an investor might come in and try to take over but LDC made it clear they weren’t about to break something that was working well. They weren’t buying stock and shares; they were backing the management team and our plan. They were there to help make the boat go faster.
How did The Prince’s Trust help you to start your business?
I was young and inexperienced when I started this business, so my mother introduced me to The Prince’s Trust and said I should apply for a grant. My application was successful and a mentor came to talk to me once a week and helped me with my business plan and any other challenge I was facing. I hadn’t a clue back then. I really appreciated the help and support so I have now become a Prince’s Trust mentor myself. It’s great to be advising those in the same position I was 30 years ago, and I know the LDC team are enjoying supporting tomorrow’s leading entrepreneurs in The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme through their Backing Youth Ambition partnership.
Read more about Martin’s support from The Prince’s Trust here.