GRANT Thornton UK LLP’s Corporate Finance team has advised on its second Scottish EdTech (education technology) deal in as many weeks, as Giglets Education has been acquired by Swedish private equity backed ILT Education.
Founded by Craig Johnstone, Dr Karsten Karcher and Jax McGhee, Kilmarnock-based Giglets produces an award-winning online literacy and reading software for primary schools. Originally providing Gaelic and Welsh language programmes to gain a presence within the EdTech space, Giglets has since expanded across the whole of the UK and Ireland as well as internationally from Australia to Qatar.
Despite only having a workforce of 12, Giglets provides an online library of more than 1,100 interactive fiction and non-fiction books in over 37 languages, with supporting curriculum learning and assessment resources. Giglets also has extensive experience of designing and delivering standardised assessment tools to schools, local authorities, and governments.
Grant Thornton has supported Giglets in its growth journey over the last three years, first establishing contact with the EdTech company with early-stage start-up support. Now, with the company reaching £1 million annual turnover and reaching over 100,000 online pupils, Giglets is very much still in its growth stage as it is acquired.
It has been acquired by ILT Education – a Swedish EdTech buyer and market leading supplier of digital education tools.
Giglets will be the first of ILT Education’s bolt-on acquisition’s since it was private-equity backed by Trill Impact. The acquisition will complement the Swedish company’s consistent 17% growth year-on-year – as well as provide the wider company with a strong footprint in the UK and Ireland.
ILT Education addresses European-wide educational challenges for children and students with dyslexia, other cognitive needs or come from multi-lingual backgrounds, as it seeks to provide people equal opportunity to gain knowledge and access to information. The products are designed specifically for both young children and students with learning support needs and range from narrated audio versions of printed schoolbooks to multilingual and interactive digital support functions.
This latest deal follows a recent flurry of activity within the EdTech sector, as Grant Thornton’s Corporate Finance team advised on the sale of Edinburgh-based company Sumdog to eEducation Albert.
Neil McInnes, Partner and Head of Corporate Finance for Grant Thornton in Scotland, said: “The EdTech sector is really active at present with investors attracted by scalable producers and recurring revenue streams companies like Giglets can provide.”
“We have been supporting the founders of Giglets over the last three years and have enjoyed watching its growth so far, and with the company now benefitting from private equity backing, I am confident its impressive growth journey will continue.”
Craig Johnstone, CEO & Founder of Giglets, said: Giglets becoming part of the ILT Education family is recognition of the robust and profitable business we’ve been to create over the last 10 years.
“Working with Neil and the team at Grant Thornton has been a pleasure and ensured that we had appropriate, professional, and sage advice throughout leading all parties involved to reaching a successful conclusion. I look forward to continuing to lead the business in the next phase of our growth journey, whilst remaining focused on delivering world-class teaching and learning experiences for our customers and users.”
Jakob Skogholm, CEO of ILT Education, said: “This acquisition marks an important milestone in ILT’s internationalisation journey, particularly in the sizable and attractive UK market. We have been impressed by Giglets people, culture, and products. By joining forces with Giglets, we will be able to provide a broader and stronger suite of products towards a wider group of pupils and educators, further strengthening our mission to improve literacy and promote multilingualism across the world”.