Foresight injects £1 million to boost expansion at Edinburgh-based Ajenta
- Leith-based provider of video-collaboration software set for further growth
- Growth capital investment to fund team growth, expansion into new markets and software development
- This is the fifth investment from the £20 million Foresight Scottish Growth Fund since Foresight opened its George Street office in late 2019
Edinburgh, 13 July 2020: Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”), a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager, is pleased to announce a £1 million growth capital investment into Ajenta Limited (“Ajenta” or the “Company”), a provider of specialist video conferencing services to schools, colleges and universities and other public sector organisations. This is the fifth investment made by the £20 million Foresight Scottish Growth Fund, which is financed by the Scottish Growth Scheme through a combination of Scottish Government funds and the European Regional Development Fund.
Ajenta provides video collaboration software to education and public sector organisations with a focus on creating real-time environments that improve communications and enable a remote and dynamic learning and working culture. With organisations having to transition rapidly to remote structures and processes during the pandemic lockdown, Ajenta’s platform facilitates access from any browser, mobile device or room system in the simplest and most efficient way. The business was founded in 2013 by John Wilson and Gavin McKenzie who have each spent 20 years managing audio visual and enterprise software development, sales and deployment.
The Company specialises in connected classrooms, video telehealth and custom collaboration environments. Ajenta offers a range of software (Vscene) and hardware (V-Room) products, creating seamless collaboration between geographically distanced classrooms, learning spaces and meeting rooms. Ajenta is the only video collaboration platform on the JAnet network; the high-speed network for the UK education and research community as well as the SWAN public sector network in Scotland, connecting schools, local councils, health boards and government.
Foresight’s investment will help the company accelerate its growth by building the team, expanding the user base and further enhancing their software. Following completion of the investment Colin Rutherford has joined the Company as Chairman with Mark Sutherland appointed as a Non-Executive Director. Colin brings relevant sector experience as a director of Teachers Media International, a global provider of multi-media professional development and accredited training services. Mark founded G2G3, the employee engagement and business simulation software provider, which was acquired by Capita in 2013. Following the acquisition Mark progressed to CTO within Capita Plc.
Commenting on the investment, John Wilson, CEO of Ajenta, said: “We are delighted to have such a strong partner as Foresight alongside us on the next part of our journey. Foresight has an excellent track record in supporting software and hardware businesses and is committed to seeing Scottish companies flourish and fulfil their potential.”
Graeme Mckinstry, Investment Manager at Foresight, added: “We are delighted to support John, Gavin and the wider team at Ajenta as they target a significant market opportunity. Ajenta has built a best in class product which already has a strong reputation amongst education bodies and has grown quickly into other sectors. Their Vscene platform is backed up by excellent product and customer support. The business was already operating at scale before the onset of COVID-19 and has worked hard to support its customer base over the lockdown period as they have transitioned to a remote working environment.”
Foresight is one of the UK’s leading regional SME investors, with seven offices across the UK. The Group has extensive experience in technology and software services, with successful prior investments in both AppDNA (a software platform for application management) and Alaric (payments processing and fraud detection).
Advisers to Ajenta:
Legal Advice: A D Stuart & Co Ltd
Advisers to Foresight:
Financial DD: Consilium Accountancy Group Limited
Legal Advice: Burness Paull LLP
Management DD : Confidas People Ltd
For more information contact:
Ben Thompson, Foresight Group: [email protected] / +44 (0)20 3667 8155
Notes to Editors
About Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”):
Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 35 years.
Foresight has over £6.5 billion* of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs), Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Relief (BR) and Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs).
Foresight’s Private Equity team, comprising 30 investment professionals, manages over £600 million in a portfolio of more than 100 companies and pursues four discrete but complementary investment styles: Venture, Impact, Growth and Replacement Capital through its growing regional office network.
Foresight was named ‘Fund Manager of the Year’ at the PLC Awards last year, ‘Generalist VCT of the Year’ at the Investment Week Tax Efficiency Awards 2018/19 and was a finalist in the 2018 Unquote British Private Equity Awards as Venture and Growth Capital House of the Year.
Foresight is headquartered in London with regional UK offices in Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester, Cambridge and Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome, Madrid, Luxembourg and Seoul.
* Following completion of the recent announcement of Foresight Group’s acquisition of Pensions Infrastructure Platform (PiP), total AUM will increase to £6.5bn.
About Ajenta Limited
Ajenta is a globally focused business delivering immersive real-time communication platforms that are changing the way that people collaborate. Ajenta specialises in virtual learning, video telehealth and custom collaboration environments. Ajenta has an ever-growing client base of exciting companies across the UK, Ireland and Europe including public sector organisations across local and central government as well as schools, further and higher education and research communities.
Ajenta is the provider of the Vscene platform, which is a video conferencing service that has evolved out of education and research to deliver a seamless and intuitive service that meets the needs of its users. Vscene removes geographical barriers and enables remote conferencing and collaboration. It allows you to establish links with other organisations or campuses, record lectures/classes, facilitate group work, assessments and feedback sessions or simply have a video conference. Vscene facilitates new opportunities in teaching and learning as, when used as a virtual classroom environment, remote students or those with mobility difficulties or other impairments, are able to participate in learning using the Vscene platform.
About the Foresight Scottish Growth Fund:
The £20 million Foresight Scottish Growth Fund was established in 2019 under the Scottish Growth Scheme. It contributes up to £2 million of equity to investment rounds of up to £10 million in growing Scottish SMEs. Investing over the next five years, the Fund aims to support economic growth and job creation in Scotland, also attracting additional private sector investment by backing exciting growth companies across a range of sectors.
The Foresight Scottish Growth Fund (Scottish Growth Scheme – Foresight Group Equity Finance LP) is financed by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund from the 2014-20 European Structural Funds Programme in Scotland. It is part of the Scottish Growth Scheme, a £500 million package of financial support for Scottish businesses backed by the Scottish Government, which aims to help businesses grow.