EMP invests in kids coding franchisor Code Ninjas

Eagle Merchant Partners (EMP), an Atlanta-based private equity firm specialising in consumer, franchise and industrial opportunities, has acquired an equity stake in Code Ninjas, a coding franchise system for kids.

The investment comes fresh off the heels of the firm’s successful exit of Chicken Salad Chick, which it acquired in 2015 and helped realise a seven-fold increase in system sales, and United PF Partners, the largest franchisee in the Planet Fitness system. Code Ninjas is EMP’s fourth franchise investment.

“Eagle Merchant Partners pursues rapidly growing franchise businesses that can successfully leverage a capital infusion to get to the next level,” says Stockton Croft, Partner, Eagle Merchant Partners. “Code Ninjas is a proven system, teaching children how to code in a supervised and collaborative environment. The kids are having fun and learning, transferring their passion for video games into skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives.”  

Code Ninjas offers a variety of coding programs, from the drop-in CREATE program with a martial arts-inspired belt system, to in-person and virtual camps featuring topics like robotics and game building. Code Ninjas keeps kids excited and engaged while gaining life-changing skills, with hundreds of locations across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. David Graham founded the company in 2016 and started franchising in 2017, growing to 240 units in just three years.   

"Code Ninjas is excited to partner with Eagle Merchant Partners during this critical time in our growth,” Graham says. “Their experience and expertise will be invaluable as we continue to thrive at the forefront of the edutainment industry by giving kids the tools for a successful future in the modern world.”

Meg Montague of The McLean Group represented Code Ninjas on this transaction.