Grant Thornton advises on cross-border sale of Sumdog
Grant Thornton UK’s Corporate Finance team has advised on the sale of education-technology (EdTech) company Sumdog to a Scandinavian buyer, eEducation Albert (Albert), with more activity in the sector expected amid significant investor demand.
Headquartered in Edinburgh, Sumdog was founded in 1994 and has become a leading global B2B player in the EdTech market, with a strong presence in the United States as well as across Europe.
Sumdog’s digital platform is currently used by approximately 15% of all schools in the UK and 10% of all schools in the US. It is a complete digital learning platform for children between the ages of 5-14 in subjects such as mathematics, spelling and grammar, adapted to the British and American curriculum. The product is built around 30 games with a focus on a good user experience for children.
The acquisition complements Albert’s pre-existing offering in the business to consumer (B2C) with a well-established business to business B2B service and strengthens its position in the UK market. Sumdog also contributes with its strong revenue stream.
Through the acquisition of Sumdog, Albert will have great opportunities to complement both its B2C and B2B offer, with significant cross-selling opportunities.
This latest deal follows a record-breaking 2021 for Grant Thornton’s Scottish Corporate Finance team which advised on 13 deals worth a total of £573m.
Neil McInnes, partner and head of corporate finance for Grant Thornton in Scotland, said: “The pandemic has highlighted the importance of technology across all sectors, including education, where every school was forced to pivot to home learning during the lockdowns. We have seen significant interest from investors in this space and a strong pipeline of deals.
“Sumdog is a great success story for an innovative digital business achieving impactful results in the school sector, and underlines Scotland’s reputation in the global technology market. The acquisition will not only enhance Albert’s offering from B2C to B2B as well, it will also expand its global reach to have a stronger footprint in both the UK and US.”
Arta Mandegari, co-founder of Albert, added: “This is a strategic acquisition where we strengthen our position in the important British market and take another step towards our goal of becoming the leading EdTech player in Europe. Albert has previously had the parent-student connection in his ecosystem, and with Sumdog we get the missing piece of the puzzle in the form of the teacher.”
Salman Eskandari, co-founder of Albert, commented: ”Sumdog will be the basis of our B2B offering, which is characterised by stable revenues and cash flows with very low churn. Sumdog offers high-quality and curriculum-adapted content that we can collaborate on and benefit from in the B2C business, and vice versa. We see great opportunities to supplement with more subjects, and also to expand the business within Sumdog to reach the parent group. Together with the team at Sumdog, we look forward to continuing to grow the business, and reach out to more teachers and students to improve and streamline children’s learning.”
Andrew Hall, CEO and founder of Sumdog, said: “Over the past 12 years, we have developed Sumdog to become an important digital aid for teachers, while we have always strived for children to love the product itself. It feels very exciting to now take the next step on our journey as part of Albert. We see a perfect match between us both in the offer and the culture, where children’s learning is at the centre.”
As well as Grant Thornton UK LLP, Sumdog was advised by law firm MacRoberts LLP. Albert was represented by Bristow’s LLP as a legal advisor and PwC as financial adviser.