An ed tech start-up that works with 40% of UK universities is seeking to raise in the region of £20 million – perhaps more – in a Series B funding round, EducationInvestor Global can reveal.   

This publication has learnt that BibliU, which distributes digital textbooks to universities through its software-as-a-service platform, has appointed investment bankers from IBIS Capital to lead the raise.

It will come hot on the heels of BibliU’s $10 million Series A, announced last year, which chief executive Dave Sherwood told MergerMarket in March had been extended to include top-up funding of $2 million in response to “more appetite than I expected”.

The Series B round will likely see institutional investors consolidate BibilU’s fragmented shareholder structure by buying out a number of angel investors. Filings with Companies House show that BibliU had 119 shareholders as of 21 January, 2021.

“The range is open but [£20 million] is in the ballpark,” an investment banker familiar with BibliU’s plans told this publication, on the condition of anonymity.

News of BibliU’s Series B comes less than 24 hours after EducationInvestor Global revealed that rival digital textbook platform Kortext is also preparing to launch a Series B round.

Both companies’ desire to raise fresh capital amid the pandemic is a sign of how Covid-19 is accelerating the rate at which universities are adopting e-learning products and services that help facilitate remote learning.

Founded in 2013 by Sherwood when he was studying at Oxford University, BibliU has since raised at least $14 million from the likes of his alma mater’s Innovation Fund III, Nesta Impact Investments, Stonehenge Fleming, Guinness Asset Management and ClearlySo.

The firm, which counts Oxford University, Imperial College London and the University of Phoenix among its customers, allows students to access online learning materials and e-textbooks through its digital platforms, which universities pay to access.

BibliU, which employs around 30 staff, works with more than 2,000 educational publishers.

According to MergerMarket, BibliU logged annual recurring revenue of $3 million in 2019.

IBIS Capital declined to comment.

Sherwood had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

Date published: 17 June 2021

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