Investors buy into Education Perfect

A global investment firm has acquired a majority stake in Dunedin-based education company, Education Perfect.

Under the deal, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) will take a majority ownership alongside Australian-based private equity firm Five V Capital.

Five V Capital invested into the company in 2017 alongside Malaysian group Mulpha Credit.

The equity investors bought the then majority stake from co-founders Craig and Shane Smith, who launched the concept nearly 20 years ago as a vocabulary tool to help pupils come to grips with modern language learning.

The company now has offices in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Dubai, and is being used by 1million pupils and 50,000 teachers in 3000 schools across 50 countries.

According to Deloitte Fast50 calculations, the company recorded a 90% revenue growth path from 2016 to 2018 to about $21 million.

KKR would be investing into Education Perfect from its Global Impact Fund.

The fund is focused on investing in market-leading companies whose business contributes towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

KKR would leverage the firm’s experience investing in technology and education companies to support Education Perfect and the management team’s vision to grow into a major edtech business globally, with a mission to improve education efficacy and outcomes.

The Edge Markets website reports Mulpha has entered into a transaction to sell its interests in Education Perfect.

It said the sale of its entire 37.81% was worth $455million.

The Companies Office website shows Five V Capital holds 37% of the ownership of Education Perfect Group Limited.

It is the second high-profile sale in Dunedin after last month tech company Timely was sold to US-based EverCommerce in a deal that could be worth more than $100million.

In a statement to the Businesswire website, Education Perfect’s chief executive, Alex Burke, said the investment by KKR’s global impact fund validated the company.

"Covid-19 has put education technology in the spotlight, and our amazing team and world-class data, technology and content have been the foundation of our success.

"I welcome KKR’s investment, which marks a key moment in the Company’s journey and sets EP up for its next phase of global growth," he said.

Mr Burke said he was "excited" about the investment.

Education Perfect aligned with KKR’s focus on life-long learning, KKR head of global impact for Asia Chee-Wei Wong said.

Education Perfect did not respond to requests for comment last night.


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