An established edtech business, founded over ten years ago, had a strong enterprise customer base, and experienced average growth which had plateaued in recent years. NPSs were high so customers were loyal, but they had not worked hard enough to grow their market share or upsell with existing customers to maintain the traction the business had when it first started.
With the pandemic boom, their business was in a strong position to scale and capitalise on the newly renewed interest in the fast-growing edtech category, which in 2020 captured £124 million of investment in the UK.
The owners were considering exiting or taking on new investment. However, the founder acknowledged that many of the day to day decisions still weighed heavily on them and the management team was not empowered enough to seize the opportunities presented to them.
The company was at an inflexion point, it needed to drive sales to put them in a strong position to maximise a projected fundraise. They required new focus to tune the commercial engine and increase company valuation, so the business could compete against new entrants.
Invigorate worked closely with the founder to determine what was required to prepare a fundraise, to get the business ready for a potential acquisition opportunity, and to understand new B2B SaaS sales processes.
The Invigorate team worked closely with the founder to layout an acceleration plan and prepare for the fundraise, as well as to get their commercial engine humming and growth metrics ticking upwards. Invigorate also suggested an appropriate fundraising strategy and identified investors aligned to the dynamics of their business.
Within a week, Invigorate then found a suitable advisor to help the board and management rethink and optimise their sales process. This advisor had in depth experience working across a number of other edtech businesses, helping craft GTM strategies.
The advisor helped the business craft the narrative for their upcoming fundraise and to shape their theoretical and business challenges. They also acted as a mediator for the management team, facilitating communication and helping challenge the founder to optimise collaboration with them.
The advisor was able to use a highly analytical approach to move the decisions from gut feelings into data-driven management decisions; which gave the management team the tools to have hard conversations with the founder.
A significant portion of the changes were really focused towards aligning the business with the best organisational structure and resources for the challenges they faced. The advisor also helped disarm tension between the board and the founder. They were able to align each party’s expectations for the business moving forward, really getting under the skin of the founder’s requirements in order to take the business to the next level.
Though there were numerous challenges, particularly concerning the founder’s receptiveness to the messages the management team were communicating, in the end all parties were really pleased by the increased efficiency. The founder, particularly, was incredibly grateful to see the people around them really pull together to face the business’s challenges. There were times when the founder wanted to walk away, but the deep dive into their own company proved fruitful, and ultimately the process only reaffirmed their commitment to the business.
The combined ongoing strategic work Invigorate provided, alongside the execution work of the advisor with GTM strategy – prioritising areas for growth – allowed the business to secure a CBILS loan during the pandemic and seize opportunities to grow their revenue. The company’s pipeline increased and in recent months new, international, opportunities have been presented.
The company is currently working with a strategic partner, potentially resulting in an acquisition at a valuation far higher than the company could have demanded pre-this strategic work.