Cattaneo Corporate Finance has advised Avantis on the investment from LDC.
Cattaneo has advised the shareholders of Avantis on its secondary buy-out backed by LDC. Key Capital Partners, which invested in Avantis in March 2020 in a transaction also advised by Cattaneo, has realised its investment but has reinvested a minority stake alongside LDC as part of the latest deal.
Avantis, based in Quedgeley, Gloucester, is an innovative provider of virtual reality-based learning technology to the international education market. Founded in 2007, the company has delivered its diverse portfolio of learning products to tens of thousands of schools in more than 90 countries worldwide. It has also developed the world’s first virtual reality (VR) system designed for classrooms.
Driven by the ethos of developing simple, effective and innovative solutions to classroom challenges, Avantis boasts a diverse portfolio of classroom-focused products and services that are in daily use by millions of students. Since the introduction of the multi award-winning classroom solution ClassVR, Avantis has made significant inroads into the field of augmented and virtual reality in the K-12 classroom. ClassVR is a complete system of hardware, software, content and teacher controls that immerses students in a wide variety of augmented and virtual reality experiences, sparking creativity and improving pupil engagement.
With the launch of Avantis World; the world’s first educational VR theme park and Eduverse; a safe and secure K-12 Metaverse platform, the company is set to drive significant growth in new market segments and territories.
With its technology used in over 100,000 classrooms worldwide, the education technology business has generated revenues of over £20m in the last 12 months. LDC is backing Avantis’ existing management team, led by Founder Nik Tuson and Managing Director Huw Williams, to further enhance its suite of products and services and continue Avantis’ international expansion.
Former Texthelp CEO Mark McCusker is joining the board as Non-Executive Director to support Avantis’ international expansion plans. A previous LDC portfolio company, Texthelp is a market leading international education and corporate software provider that grew revenues 40% and expanded across the US during an 18-month partnership.
The Cattaneo team of Martyn Pilley and Scott Peters provided corporate finance advice to the Avantis shareholders who also received legal advice from the Birmingham offices of Mills & Reeve (Ryan Hawley and Hayley Simonds) and Trowers & Hamlins (Mat Harvey). LDC was advised by EY Corporate Finance, DLA and EY-Parthenon. Senior debt and working capital facilities were provided by the Birmingham team of Virgin Money (Ian Mansell and Alpesh Patel), who were advised by Pinsent Masons (David Doogan).
Huw Williams, Managing Director at Avantis, said:
“It’s been fantastic to see so many schools globally embrace the power of virtual reality and we’re excited to be working with LDC to support our next phase of growth. LDC’s sector experience from supporting leading ed-tech businesses like Texthelp was crucial when choosing a private equity partner to support our vision.”
Aziz Ul-Haq, Partner at LDC in the North West, added:
“The team at Avantis are bringing industry-leading technological solutions to the education market that support better outcomes for students. We’re looking forward to working to supporting the business reach even more students across the world.”
Martyn Pilley of Cattaneo commented:
“We are proud to have worked with Avantis since the inception of its ClassVR product, guiding it through the investment by Key Capital Partners and then this latest transaction which brings the strength and experience of a major mid-market investor, LDC, into partnership with a fast growing EdTech business that is experiencing phenomenal global growth.”