The £4.25m private equity investment by Key Capital Partners in Avantis Systems, the Gloucester-based educational virtual reality business. Founded in 2007 by CEO Nik Tuson, Avantis, which employs 32 staff, has a strong pedigree in the delivery of educational technology solutions in the classroom. In 2017 it launched ClassVR, a complete system of hardware, software and content that enables teachers to immerse their pupils in a wide variety of virtual reality (VR) experiences, sparking creativity and improving pupil engagement. Sales of ClassVR have grown rapidly in the three years since launch with more than 50,000 VR headsets now deployed in around 3,000 schools around the world, establishing it as the market leader in its field. The deal sees KCP acquire a significant minority stake in the business. With a new partner in place, Avantis will accelerate investment in its growing overseas distribution model and continue product development to maintain its leading position in a fast-growing market.
We worked closely with Avantis over an extended timeframe from just after the launch of ClassVR, to review options for creating and ultimately realising shareholder value. Having looked at a number of options raising private equity emerged from that process as the best route for taking the business to the next level, provide shareholders with some liquidity and to achieve an eventual exit. We ran a competitive process which attracted considerable interest from the private equity market which was impressed with the way in which Avantis had established itself as the market leader in the VR space in such a short timescale and by the rate of growth it was achieving in global markets. We structured the investment to meet our client’s objectives and negotiated terms to select KCP as the preferred partner before managing the due diligence and legal processes to complete the transaction.
WHAT OUR CLIENT SAID:
“We are fortunate to have had a team as knowledgeable and experienced as Cattaneo alongside us on our recent journey. They demonstrated impressive commercial acumen in understanding our key objectives and assessing numerous options before embarking on the path that we did. They then worked tirelessly to resolve the inevitable myriad of commercial, financial and legal queries as we secured the investment from KCP necessary for us to transition from an owner managed business to one seeking to cement its position on the global stage in K12 education. The team at Cattaneo were great to work with and it really felt as though they were an integral part of our business throughout the process. I would highly recommend them”
Nik Tuson, Chief Executive Officer, Avantis