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Frog leaps to another level in £2m stake deal

EDUCATIONAL games specialist i-education has sold a 51 per cent stake in the business to learning platform provider Frog in a deal worth more than £2m.

Doncaster-based i-education, creator of online games-based revision and assessment system ‘i am learning’, says it will be able to grow faster, develop internationally and take on more staff as a result of the agreement. The ‘i am learning’ system will now become a key part of the Frog learning platform, which is used by more than 12 million students and teachers worldwide.

Frog is a Halifax-based company which was formed in 1999 with just two employees, but now has a turnover of more than £6m and a headcount of 112. It provides virtual learning environments to schools in the UK and internationally.

Frog said the acquisition of part of i-education signals its move towards assessment in teaching and learning. Gareth Davies, managing director of Frog, said: “Assessment is a key focus for Frog at the moment and ‘i am learning’ is a vital part of our strategy going forward as we head towards a fully-integrated assessment platform for our customers.”

i-education was set up in 2007 by Michael Wilkinson and fellow director Steve Holt after they worked together at the Doncaster City Learning Centre on projects to integrate ICT into the curriculum. The business, which now employs 15 staff, posted record sales of £650,000 for the year to September – up from £415,000 the previous year.

Mr Wilkinson said: “We will continue to run the business just as we have always done but this moves gives i-education the ability to grow much faster and develop internationally.”

He said that ‘i am learning’ will benefit from “a wealth of new experience to help ensure the product and our service remains world class as we grow our school numbers.

“The same committed staff will continue to service our schools in line with our traditions, culture and commitments. We now expect to take on more staff as the company grows.”

Mr Wilkinson and Mr Holt own the majority of the remaining shareholding of i-education.

Features of ‘i am learning’ will now be available across all of Malaysia’s 10,000 state schools after the Malaysian Ministry of Education selected Frog to provide its learning platform to every school in the country earlier this year. i-education said it will also continue to work with partners supporting integrations with other learning platforms. 

The ‘i am learning’ platform is used by more than 1,000 schools and half a million pupils across the country. In June, the company secured a deal to supply all the primary schools in Northumberland. Last month, the company launched 70 apps for the iPhone and iPad.

Mr Wilkinson added: “We are really excited about becoming part of the Frog family and look forward to working closer with everyone on the team to help students and teachers achieve the best results they can.”

YTL Corporation, one of Malaysia’s largest companies, invested in Frog in June, making it the majority shareholder of the group.

suzan.uzel@ypn.co.uk

 

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