Sector:   Tech-enabled  
Overview:  Virtual reality edtech solutions
Investment year 2020
Status Current 
Headquarters Gloucester

Avantis is a specialist Education Technology service provider. The Company launched ClassVR in 2017, an end-to-end virtual reality solution for the classroom. ClassVR is a complete system of hardware, software, content and teacher controls that immerses students in a wide variety of augmented and virtual reality experiences, sparking creativity and improving pupil engagement. Just over two years after launch ClassVR is used in over 100,000 classrooms worldwide.

We selected Key as our partner based on their speed of response, understanding of our ethos and their shared vision of what VR can achieve as a classroom tool.

Working with Avantis...

Investment process

Impressed by the growth of the ClassVR product, we backed Avantis Systems with a £4.3 million investment in 2020. The investment enabled the founder to sell a minority stake in the business whilst providing funding to accelerate the development of content and expansion into the US market. We subsequently provided follow-on funding of £0.5m to support the rapid acceleration in sales and investment in working capital.

Growth process

We worked with management to hire a highly experienced non-executive chair with a background covering private equity, the technology sector and delivering international growth. The board subsequently refined the group strategy and commercial model, pivoting away from a hardware led sales proposition to a hardware and service offering. Underpinning this strategic intent required significant investment in content development, including introducing new and complimentary talent into the business. Our subsequent funding enabled the business to invest in stock ahead of the curve and unlock the growing sales opportunities.

Exit process

Two years after our investment profitability had quadrupled and the business was receiving inbound interest from both trade acquirors and private equity investors. We managed these approaches for the Company and instigated a focussed and structured exit process, resulting in an attractive partial exit for us and the management shareholders.