Pátio, the educational services group’s arm for the market that made the acquisition, should have revenues of around R$ 60 million this year.
The Eleva Educação group, the largest basic education group in Brazil, with over 120 thousand students and 200 school units, has just closed a new transaction within Pátio, its arm that develops educational solutions for the market, both in content and technology. The company bought the edtech company Kanttum, focused on teacher training and development. “In the universe of more than 500 existing edtechs in Brazil, almost nothing is geared towards educators,” highlights Anderson Morais, co-founder and CEO of Pátio. Besides the size and fame of the colleges owned, the group is known for having the businessman Jorge Paulo Lemann as one of the biggest investors.
This is the group’s first solution for training professionals. The new investment is the unit’s fourth business front. “This year, our revenue should reach R$ 60 million, with the potential to exceed R$ 100 million in 2023”, says the executive, in an interview to EXAME IN. The numbers already consider the acquisition.
Pátio sells its solutions to various companies in the sector, as well as using them within the group. Kanttum is the fourth business unit within its umbrella Edu’s Agendaa digital platform for communication between parents, students and teachers, the Tecwhich offers a curriculum based on maker culture and science and technology education, and Liva social-emotional education program. Edtech comes to complement the portfolio. “Besides the enormous potential for growth in the market, the business will help us to keep growing without losing quality due to the gain in scale,” emphasizes Morais. The group owns no less than 26 education flagships – names like Cei, Pensi, Elite, and Eleva, among many others – and has annual revenues of around R$2 billion, after buying 45 schools from the Cogna group last year. “We have a total of 17,000 employees, and most of them are educators.
The company’s solutions and platform were already in use by the Eleva group prior to the transaction. “They were one of the first customers,” reveals Pablo Sales, one of the startup’s founders. The company was founded in 2014 and at the time was called Replay for me. At first, the company aimed to help teachers record their lessons and make the content permanently available for students who wanted to review the content.
However, when he went through a process of validating his thesis with the market he realized that the shortage and the biggest opportunities were with the audience of the teachers themselves. Then, the platform with its current presentation was launched in 2018, after a review of the business model. At the start of the following year, it already had more than 40,000 users, and today this total reaches 180,000. There are more than 30 educational groups that adopt the solutions. The list has names like Ânima and Pentagon, for example. The expected revenue for this year, according to the founder, is around R$5 million.
Although Grupo Eleva did not disclose the value of the transaction, in the edtech sector acquisitions usually range between a multiple of 5 to 10 times revenue – meaning a likely investment between R$25 million and R$50 million. The executives, however, do not comment on the calculation.
Kanttum’s solution can be adopted, according to Sales, both for professionals from elementary school to universities, as well as language schools, technical training, and even companies that recurrently use training processes for employees. Last year, among the products offered, “Ser Professor” was launched, a kind of community for teachers to exchange experiences and knowledge. “That one is more focused on basic education. Currently, it has more than 18,000 registered.”
Within the platform, there are ready-made courses, content, and all the mechanics for adopting mentoring processes. “The teacher has always been treated in a generalist way, when in fact each one has very particular qualities and deficiencies,” the founder emphasizes. He defines the platform as a kind of Netflix for educators, who can access the content for a R$19.90 subscription. In addition, schools can pay for mentorships that help the professional to better develop the application of the newly acquired skills. They can be made starting at R$149.90 per unit, and schools can also contract packages.
Sales says that a watershed in the company’s structure was having gone through a kind of acceleration within the Lemann Foundation and, through the entrepreneur’s center, having started to offer the highly recognized Stanford teacher training program.
The pandemic was also a great business driver, as educators had to face overnight the need to deal with teaching in a whole new way.
Prior to the acquisition by Eleva, Kanttum had only passed a single fundraising round, which raised about BRL 1.6 million, in 2016. Sales, who will continue to lead the operation, says that the business will provide a new reality of growth. “One of the biggest bottlenecks for a startup is the ability to distribute its products, and Pátio is now present in about 5,000 schools.”
The other solutions of the market arm of the Eleva Group have hundreds of customers. Agenda Edu is in more than 3 thousand schools, with more than 2 million users (950 thousand of them, students) and Liv is adopted by more than 500 schools, with a universe of 190 thousand students, while Tec has its proposal in 130 clients that adopt the curriculum for about 40 thousand students.
Right after the transaction with Cogna, in March 2021, which represented a jump of around 50% for the group, in revenue, co-president Bruno Elias made it clear, in an interview to EXAME IN, that the sky is the limit for the pretensions: to be the biggest and the best. As it turns out, the most complete one, too. The operation gave an even bigger boost to the company, since the forecast is that the EBITDA would go from around R$ 200 million to R$ 350 million per year, after 18 months from the conclusion of the operation.
Source: EXAME IN