Shoosmiths has advised Kortext, the Bournemouth-based university-focussed digital teaching and learning platform, in securing a £15m series B investment from DMG Ventures, the venture capital arm of Daily Mail and General Trust plc, that has previously backed companies including Cazoo and Zoopla.
Kortext has been a Shoosmiths client since its founding by James Gray in 2013. The firm has acted for Kortext in all its prior funding rounds, raising £19m since it began trading. DMG Ventures led the company’s series A round in 2019 and was the sole participant in this latest round.
The transaction completed to a tight timescale, within three weeks of terms being agreed. All parties had a desire to complete the transaction quickly to enable the company to focus on accelerating delivery of its product roadmap, in partnership with its university customers.
The funds raised will be used to continue investment in the Kortext platform, which already serves the needs of students and academics at over 100 UK universities and in 200 countries and territories across the world. Demand for the Kortext platform has risen by a staggering 300% over the past year, driven in part by the increase in blended learning/distance learning necessitated by the pandemic, but also by the fact that the Kortext platform promotes equality of access to engaging, personalised content for all users, anywhere.
The deal was led by Shoosmiths’ VC partner Steve Barnett with assistance from corporate associate Olivia King. Assistance with employee incentivisation and employment matters was provided by Anika Chandra, a partner who heads up the firm’s employee incentives practice, and Karen Mortenson, principal associate in employment law.
Steve Barnett commented: “It’s been a pleasure to advise Kortext as they consolidate their position as a genuine UK market leader with an outstanding digital offer that illustrates the true potential for online learning content delivery and education without borders.”
Kortext founder James Gray said: “The Shoosmiths team of Steve, Olivia, Anika and Karen worked tirelessly for us at an important time in the company's history. The whole Kortext team appreciates what was a really efficient and speedy process, avoiding potentially months of an open process and at a critical time for us - the annual ‘Back to University’ season.”