Publisher sets up investment fund

The educational publishing group Folens has established a new boutique fund to invest in emerging learning technology and capitalise on the 20% growth rate that the sector is expected to see over the next five years.

Leaf Investments is looking to invest between €250,000 and €1m to support early-stage companies.

The fund will have a global outlook but focus on Ireland. Leaf already works with Enterprise Ireland to find and encourage innovative companies in the learning sector.

Hugh O’Driscoll, a partner at Leaf Investments, said that Folens’s background in the education sector would help it perform in the interest of shareholders.

“We believe that Leaf Investments is ideally placed to provide a unique combination of industry expertise and investing experience to early stage start-up companies looking for support.

“We are very optimistic and excited about some of the emerging businesses that we are currently evaluating and look forward to making further investments in the coming months.”

Leaf has already made two investments in businesses that it believes have significant scope for growth.

The fund invested over €500,000 into Empower The User, a provider of roleplay simulation technology for the training and assessment industries.

The second company that has received investment is StoryToys, which produced the first digital pop-up book.

It has received early stage institutional investor funding amounting to €750,000 from a syndicate of investors including Leaf Investments.

The company has already established a position for itself as one of the leading providers of “edutainment” apps for iPads, smartphones, and computers, with its port-folio of 3D interactive digital storybooks for children.


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