Boston, December 16, 2020: Texthelp Ltd, the global leader in literacy and accessibility technology, today announced a significant investment from Five Arrows, the private equity arm of Rothschild & Co, as it replaces LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group. Five Arrows is investing in Texthelp through its European fund (Five Arrows Principal Investments) and its US fund (Five Arrows Capital Partners). Five Arrows targets investments in category-leading B2B data and software companies across healthcare, education, and other vertical end-markets.
Founded in 1996, Texthelp has established itself as the global pioneer and leader in cloud-based assistive technology and learning analytics for the education and corporate sectors. The company has supported 30 million students and employees worldwide with reading, writing and numeracy, as well as productivity challenges, including those with dyslexia or working in a second language. Current customers include some of the largest school districts in North America and Australia, schools and businesses across the UK and Middle East, as well as U.S. Government and Fortune 500 organizations.
Texthelp’s product suite includes its gold-standard literacy and accessibility support software Read&Write; math and science digital product EquatIO; web accessibility toolbar Browsealoud; and digital reading fluency practice and assessment tool Fluency Tutor. In October, Texthelp also launched WriQ, a cloud-based writing assessment, benchmarking, and achievement tool that provides rapid and consistent feedback using learning analytics, based on analysis of 250,000 teacher-delivered writing assessments. The company partners with the world’s leading technology brands, including Google, Microsoft and Apple, to deliver solutions that work across all major platforms.
Texthelp has played an important role in supporting the 1.5 billion children whose learning has been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Texthelp has helped students to avoid further learning loss by providing online products and tools that make remote learning more effective and engaging. Texthelp workplace products have also helped employees adjust to remote working and have supported businesses in reaching their core audiences at a time when so many aspects of life have been digitized.
Earlier this year, Texthelp appointed its Co-Founder and former CTO, Martin McKay, to lead the company as CEO. Other senior-level appointments include Ryan Graham to Chief Technical Officer, and Jonny Gribben to Chief Data Officer.
Martin McKay, Founder & CEO, Texthelp said: “We are thrilled and honored to be working with Five Arrows as we enter the next stage of our growth and expansion. We were impressed by their focus on data, software and technology-enabled 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. We are also grateful to LDC who helped us go further, faster. They believed in the potential of our business, providing the investment, support and expertise to help us accelerate a truly differentiating digital transformation in a relatively short space of time.”
Sacha Oshry, Managing Director at Five Arrows Principal Investments said: “We are absolutely delighted and privileged to be partnering with Martin and his leadership team as Texthelp enters its next stage of growth. Texthelp is a global market leader with high recurring revenue, a proven track record of organic growth with demonstrable resilience, and significant untapped potential. We believe that Texthelp’s innovative and high-quality products make the company well-positioned to capitalize from the powerful structural growth trends in the global assistive technology and remote working markets in both the education and corporate sectors.”
Ari Benacerraf, Partner at Five Arrows Capital Partners further commented: “We believe that Texthelp is a highly differentiated SaaS company with a loyal customer base in a rapidly growing sector. Five Arrows has significant experience backing global vertical B2B software businesses and businesses which serve the North American K-12 education sector. We look forward to supporting Martin and his team to accelerate Texthelp’s growth ambitions over the coming years. This is yet another great example of our US and European corporate private equity teams working collaboratively to invest in companies that stand to directly benefit from the global networks and trans-atlantic synergy that exists across our private equity platform.”
Texthelp and LDC were advised by DC Advisory (Corporate Finance), Gateley (Legal), Pinsent Masons (Legal) and EY (Personal Tax). Five Arrows was advised by Raymond James (Corporate Finance), Shoosmiths (Legal) and EY-Parthenon (Commercial).
Texthelp is an education and corporate technology company, helping students and people of all abilities improve their reading, writing and math skills, both in schools and in the workplace. The company’s purpose is to help individuals to understand and be understood. Through the use of Texthelp software, the company wants to unlock everyone’s full ability and realize their potential.
The company, founded in 1996, employs more than 180 people across offices in Boston, Belfast and. Brisbane. It has over 30 million users worldwide and was founded through personal experience and motivation.
About Five Arrows
Five Arrows Principal Investments (FAPI) and Five Arrows Capital Partners (FACP) (together, “Five Arrows”) are the European and US corporate private equity arms, respectively, of Rothschild & Co. Five Arrows is focused on investing in middle-market companies with highly defensible market positions; business models with high visibility of organic unit volume growth and strong free cash flow conversion; and multiple operational levers that can be used to unlock latent value. The sector focus at Five Arrows is limited to healthcare, data & software and technology-enabled business services.
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