Two leading EdTechs are to merge following approval from the Competition and Markets Authority. 

Montagu Private Equity has agreed to acquire the Education Software Solutions business of Capita plc for £45 million and has also agreed to invest in ParentPay, a leading provider of education technology, with ESS becoming part of the ParentPay Group. 

ESS is a standalone provider of management information system and related software for the education sector. ESS’ flagship product SIMS is used by 19,000 schools in the UK and internationally to collect and manage a database of student information and core school operations. 

ParentPay delivers online payments, income management, parental engagement and school catering solutions to over 18,000 schools and caterers across the UK, the Netherlands and Germany. 

Through the acquisition of ESS and the subsequent proposed investment, Montagu and ParentPay intend to bring together two high-quality and complementary businesses in the education software market.  

Montagu and ParentPay intend to utilise their combined expertise and network to support and accelerate innovation within the product portfolio, including the roll-out of ESS’s cloud-native SIMS 8 and other value-add services to schools and parents, catering to their increasingly sophisticated needs. 

Mark Brant, CEO of ParentPay, said: “As one of the UK’s earliest FinTechs, innovation has always been at the heart of ParentPay. By continually adapting and investing we ensure our customers in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany can count on us.  

“Together with ESS and Montagu we will be able to further accelerate innovation in our sector. We look forward to welcoming the ESS team into the ParentPay Group and working closely with Montagu to further enhance the value we deliver to our collective customers.” 

Andy Bennett, CEO of ESS, said: “We are very pleased with the sale to Montagu, a proven, collaborative investor in high-quality companies and the intention to become part of the ParentPay Group.  

“This deal will provide significant opportunities to grow our business and bring further value to our employees and customers. 

“We look forward to working with our new owners to support and accelerate innovation within our product portfolio particularly with our SIMS product as we continue to improve and enhance how we support staff in over 19,000 schools across the UK with the tools to manage school life.”