Investors Kortext News

Kortext investor Commited Capital among the finalists in the 2020 Growth Investor Awards

  • Committed Capital has been named as a finalist in the 2020 Growth Investor Awards
  • Competing with 4 other investment providers for the coveted Most Impactful Investment Award sponsored by Adempi Associates
  • Now in its sixth year, the Growth Investor Awards will be announced during a virtual ceremony in December

In a challenging year, and with a record-breaking number of award entries, Committed Capital has secured a spot as one of the finalists in the Most Impactful Investment category of the 2020 Growth Investor Awards, hosted by Intelligent Partnership. Now in their sixth year, the Growth Investor Awards are a landmark event in the investment calendar. With the support of investors, businesses, government and industry bodies, they celebrate the companies and individuals who go above and beyond to support the UK’s growing businesses, and in doing so create jobs, boost economic growth and support innovation. 

About the award

Sponsored by Adempi Associates, the Most Impactful Investment award showcases a standout deal made in the past 12 months. The judges will take into account its effect on the business, how funding was deployed and how the capital has helped the investee company to grow. Committed Capital will compete for the award alongside four other impressive finalists: Earthworm, Haatch Ventures, Parkwalk Advisors and Vala Capital.

In true 2020 fashion, the winners in all categories will be announced during a festive virtual

event. It’s been such a tough year and we now find ourselves in another lockdown, so Intelligent Partnership decided to up the celebratory stakes and are planning something special for the awards ceremony!

Commenting on the announcement and on Kortext, their investee company showcased as demonstrating impact beyond investment, Steve Harris, CEO of Committed Capital, saidWe have been impressed by the Kortext team since our first meeting in late 2014. We first invested in Spring 2016, and have invested in 2 subsequent equity rounds in 2018 and 2020.  We have been delighted to watch the company contractualise relationships with a clear majority of universities in the UK, leading to strong year on year growth in revenues. We continue to support them during this exciting rapid growth phase.

The Coronavirus pandemic, and subsequent disruption in the edtech sector, have highlighted the requirement for schools and universities to seamlessly provide course materials and books to students working from home. We would add that industry disruption can become an opportunity for our investee companies; but if not managed, it can all to easily become a threat.

Kortext moved decisively in March to provide universities in the UK and abroad with free textbooks during the initial lockdown and beyond, centrally via university libraries. The Company signed some 150 university contracts in the UK and Ireland over a short period. Subsequently, some 100 of these contracts have become fully commercial.

We are immensely proud of the role Kortext has played in the provision of core course materials to students during a very challenging period.  Equally, as an investor, we are impressed at their effectiveness and hard work in transforming the most recent group of contracts onto a fully commercial basis. The company has a clear strategy for the development of its own business over the next 2-3 years and we look forward to this with eager anticipation.”

James Gray, CEO, and Founder of Kortext, commented “I am delighted that the Free Student eTextbook Programme (FSTP) that we introduced rapidly for the locked-down UK HE sector has been shortlisted for this award category. Together with the world’s leading academic publishers, with Microsoft and Adobe, and with Jisc (representing the UK’s university sector) we created FSTP to support both universities and their students as they grappled with the Covid-19 learning environment that forced students off-campus and online. 150 of the UK and Irish universities, a penetration rate of some 90%, took up the FSTP offer that enabled over 1.5m students to continue to study remotely. Subsequently, 67% have converted to the paid model, despite huge financial headwinds that faced the sector. I am very proud of how my colleagues at Kortext reacted to the challenges that Covid-19 has created for the HE sector. They have worked tirelessly over the last 8 months, to firstly launch FSTP and then worked throughout the summer with universities and publishers to help ensure students had continued access to required core textbooks under new commercial models. 

Equally,  I would like to say how grateful  I am for the continued support of our investors, led by Committed Capital who have provided the necessary funding over the last 5 years to allow us to build the Kortext Platform and be in a position to have supported an entire sector in this way, some 150 universities and over 1.5m students in the UK. We have raised some £19m in total over 3 rounds over the last 5 years and Committed Capital have been with us from the very beginning and I am deeply grateful to their whole team. ”.

Commenting on the 2020 Growth Investor Awards, Guy Tolhurst, Managing Director of Intelligent Partnership, said: “This has been an exceptional year in so many ways, and, as every finalist can confirm, success has come from being able to adapt and keep moving forward. I’m delighted we can host these awards as an online event, and continue to recognise the investment providers playing such a crucial role in giving the UK’s smaller companies the growth capital and expertise they need.

I would like to congratulate Committed Capital – because to reach the finalist stage in such a competitive field of entrants in this category is a huge achievement.” 

Award submissions will now move to a second round of judging from an independent panel of judges. All scores are collated to determine the winner and runners-up, with all finalists receiving tailored feedback and benchmarking report offering expert insight about areas for improvement.

For further information, please visit growthinvestorawards.com