BLUE Sky Alternative Investments (ASX:BLA) has stamped the education-technology sector as one to watch after securing a multimillion-dollar stake in ORIGO Education through its private equity division.
ORIGO delivers primary school mathematics solutions tailored to local curricula through a cloud-based learning management system.
The capital investment will allow ORIGO to boost research and development across its existing suite of products, as well as expand its sales and teaching team as it gears up for expansion in the US.
The company has won a number of long-term contracts with school districts in the US over the past two years, with its core product Stepping Stones used by three of the largest 50 school districts. As a result, more than 80 per cent of ORIGO's revenue is generated in the US.
The kindergarten to fifth grade school maths instructional materials market in the US alone is worth $US1.3 billion in revenue each year, according to research by Blue Sky.
Blue Sky Private Equity investment director Lachlan McMurdo says he was impressed with the intellectual property (IP) and scalability of ORIGO's business model.
"ORIGO's founders are sought out by schools and education administrators globally, and they have developed impressive global IP over many years," McMurdo says.
"ORIGO is leading the market in innovative learning and the company's recurring revenue base gives us and our investors a great deal of confidence.
"The key competitive advantage lies in the high quality of ORIGO's products and successful expansion in the massive US market is proof of the global scalability of the business."
ORIGO's suite of products has expanded to student participation materials and sophisticated interactive digital learning products targeted towards the Australian and US education market.
The technology company was established in 1997 by Brisbane maths teachers James Burnett and Dr Calvin Irons.
Burnett says the Australian company was capitalising on a lucrative market that is dominated by large and established players in the US.
"The fact prominent school districts have selected ORIGO's products over other established multinational education publishers has strengthened our reputation in the US and globally," Burnett says.
"We are looking forward to the next phase of growth with Blue Sky's backing."
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