Texthelp secures investment from Five Arrows

Texthelp Ltd, a specialist in literacy and accessibility technology, has secured a significant investment from Five Arrows, the private equity arm of Rothschild & Co, as LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group exits. 

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 Government and Fortune 500 organisations.
 
Texthelp’s product suite includes its gold-standard literacy and accessibility support software Read&Write; maths and science digital product EquatIO; web accessibility toolbar Browsealoud and digital reading fluency practice and assessment tool Fluency Tutor. In October this year, Texthelp launched WriQ, a cloud-based writing assessment, benchmarking and achievement tool that provides fast and consistent feedback using learning analytics and 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 excluded from schools 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 digitalised.
 
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, says: “We are thrilled and honoured 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, says: “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 capitalise 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, says: “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).