Kortext, the e-textbook provider used by over 100 UK universities, has secured £15 million of fresh funding from existing investor DMG Ventures, the venture-capital arm of London-listed Daily Mail Group Trust (DMGT).

Under the terms of the capital injection, Paul Zwillenberg, chief executive of DMGT, will join Kortext’s board.

EducationInvestor Global unveiled Kortext’s Series B capital raise earlier this month.

The investment from DMG Ventures will be used to accelerate product development, Kortext said in a statement.

James Gray, chief executive and founder of Kortext, said: “Our key objective behind this round of fundraising is continued investment in the Kortext platform to help our Higher Education clients. Our clients include Exeter, Manchester, Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Kings College, with a total of 21 of the 24 Russell Group Universities. For over 100 UK universities and many more overseas, we deliver the best, most integrated, online learning experience for academics and students. We support major digital teaching and learning initiatives across the UK, where every student receives all their learning materials at the start of their course and can collaborate and share online through our platform.

“We are proud to be the UK’s market leader and partner with these amazing universities as they shift to providing students with all their learning content as a part of their tuition fees. The fact that students no longer have to buy their own textbooks is a real leveller in terms of equality of access to highly engaging, personalised learning content. To support this shift, we are also working with both universities and the major global publishers to deliver the required learning content under new, innovative, and affordable models that help close the digital poverty gap by enabling students to study anytime, anywhere and from any device. Over the past twelve months, our platform has been used in over 200 countries and territories around the world, illustrating the true potential for online content delivery and borderless education.

“At the start of the pandemic, in conjunction with the university sector, Microsoft and the main textbook publishers, we were able to offer free access to digital textbooks to every student in the UK under the Free Student eTextbook Programme (FSTP). We have been supporting universities and their students since, helping students everywhere continue with their studies while they have been unable to access their physical campuses and libraries.

“The feedback from both academics and students has been hugely positive and ever more universities are turning to Kortext to help deliver a really engaging, online learning environment where the course content is at the centre of the learning experience. To help maintain this growth we have invested heavily in our team, doubling in size over this last year, enabling us to provide unparalleled support to universities, their students, their academics, and their libraries as they continue to move to a digital first strategy. This investment will help fund additional employment growth in the next 12 months, as demand for Kortext services continues to grow. We’ve doubled in size over the past year and now employ 130 people. We are currently hiring for 50 new roles.”

Zwillenberg added: “I’m excited by the opportunities being pursued by Kortext. The need for a tech-led evolution in the education sector has long been the dream. The market conditions – addressing the COVID education gap and the need for a rapid move to blended learning – mean that the time for a UK success story like Kortext to really flourish is now.

“But it’s also a sustainable investment: they have great fundamentals in place and great reach into a sector that they know well. I’m looking forward to working with James and his team.”

Date published: 23 June 2021

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