Leading provider of online learning

Investment date: August 2020

Follow-on investments: 6

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learndirect is a leading provider of online learning focused on adult education in teaching and education, healthcare, and nursing. Through its strong relationships with awarding bodies it delivers level 3-5 education in a highly effective and supportive online format that boasts high levels of customer satisfaction and strong completion rates. The business sits in the larger European e-learning market that is anticipated to grow at a 15% CAGR to £63bn by 2023.

Sitting firmly in one of QPE’s key sectors of focus, learndirect offers a compelling platform to consolidate the fragmented adult learning market and benefit from strong trends towards online learning that have only been reinforced with the onset of COVID-19. Demonstrating a 31% revenue CAGR across the past 3 years, its leading brand name, proprietary technology, and regulated courses lead to high barriers to entry, positioning the business well to take advantage of a fast-growing subsector and outpace the market.

“Working with QPE, we are excited to be backing both Kim at ACD, Gordon at i-to-i and their fantastic teams, bringing our businesses together with a shared vision and mission to deliver an exceptional progression plan for the group. Combining our expertise and experience will enable us to deliver market leading employment-based outcomes for our students.”

Wayne Janse van Rensburg

CEO, learndirect


The transaction underlines QPE’s attention to partnership having been sourced off-market and representing first time institutional capital with significant management re-investment. QPE and management’s focus over the investment period will be on acquiring complementary businesses to expand the customer set alongside continuing organic growth through new sales channels and complementary services. Adding businesses delivering qualifications outside the Company’s current focus will allow QPE and the management team to leverage the platform’s expertise in technology, delivery, and digital marketing to achieve accelerated growth in these new areas.

Bolt-on acquisitions

animal-courses-direct itoi smile-wisdom the-training-room
leap-academy at-and-f-solutions

“We are delighted to have partnered with Wayne and the management team at learndirect in this exciting journey and supported two strategic acquisitions within six months of our original investment in the Group. Both ACD and i-to-i share QPE and learndirect’s values of quality education and learner-focused outcomes”

Jose Rodriguez

Managing Partner, QPE

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