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LDC exits education and corporate software specialist Texthelp

16 Dec 2020

Leading mid-market private equity firm LDC has exited its investment in Texthelp, the leading global provider of literacy and numeracy assistive technologies to the education and corporate sectors to Five Arrows, following a period of significant growth. The financial terms of the transaction are undisclosed.

Texthelp has an established and loyal customer base across the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Australasia. The company has supported 30 million students and employees with reading, writing and numeracy as well as productivity challenges, including those with dyslexia or working in a second language. Its products include literacy support software Read&Write, maths product EquatIO, web accessibility toolbar Browsealoud and recently launched writing achievement tool WriQ.

The firm, which employs more than 180 staff across its headquarters in Belfast and international offices, partners with some of the world’s leading technology brands, including Google, Microsoft and Apple, to deliver solutions that work across all major mobile, tablet and computer operating systems.

LDC backed the business in May 2019 to accelerate its organic growth plans, in the UK, US and internationally and further develop its software proposition. During the 18-month partnership, revenues at the business increased 40 per cent from £19m to £27m, with a strengthening pipeline of prospective new customers.

Texthelp enhanced its market leading position by expanding its footprint across North America, developing its digital route to market and pricing strategies, and significantly investing in new technology and product development. This has included the recent launch of WriQ, a cloud-based writing assessment, benchmarking and achievement tool that allows teachers to automatically assess writing proficiency, provide students with specific and personalised feedback and track student performance over time.

With the backing of Five Arrows, Texthelp plans to continue its global expansion as well as its new product development pipeline.

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Our partnership with LDC helped us go further, faster. The team believed in the potential of our business, and our ability to deliver on our plans. They provided the investment, support and expertise to help us accelerate a truly differentiating digital transformation in a relatively short space of time.”
Martin McKay, CEO
Texthelp

“We are thrilled and honoured to be working with Five Arrows as we enter the next stage of our growth and expansion. We like their focus on Data, Software and Technology businesses, and their active supportive approach to scaling businesses. We look forward to releasing two new products this financial year with Five Arrows support as we expand our workplace and education product offerings.”

Steve Aston, Senior Director at LDC, added: “Martin, Mark and the team have built a business focused on unlocking potential through innovation and technology. We’ve enjoyed supporting their growth ambitions and seeing them out-perform both their own plans and the broader market. We wish them every success and we’re looking forward to watching them become even more of a household name in the global EdTech and Accessibility market.”

The transaction was led, on behalf of LDC by Steve Aston and Joseph Fison, supported by Dan Gluckman.

LDC’s heritage and experience across the technology, media and telecommunications sector is unrivalled, having supported more than 130 TMT businesses with over £1bn of equity. The private equity house has invested in six TMT businesses this year including IT services provider Kerv, Aker Systems a provider of ultra-secure data platforms and 3D software reseller Solid Solutions.

LDC and Texthelp were advised by DC Advisory (Corporate Finance) and Gateley (Legal).

Five Arrows was advised by Raymond James (Corporate Finance) and Shoosmiths (Legal).