Maven exits safeguarding software specialist eSafe
We are pleased to announce that the Maven VCTs have sold their holding in eSafe Systems to fellow safeguarding technology provider Smoothwall, generating a profitable return for VCT shareholders.
Maven originally backed the business via the Greater Manchester Loan Fund in 2015. The business gained traction in the market for its innovative technology and in 2017 Maven provided £1.6 million of follow-on growth funding through its VCTs to allow the business to take advantage of wider market opportunities, along with further development of its innovative service and technology platforms.
eSafe provides active ongoing monitoring services for the UK education sector, designed to help safeguard school and college pupils from inappropriate online materials, cyber-bullying, mental health issues, grooming and radicalisation. Its software identifies potentially harmful imagery including video, streaming, webcam and static files, whilst also monitoring multi-lingual keyboard entry and screen content from websites, documents and social media applications.
The sale to Smoothwall represents a good fit for the continued growth of eSafe and an important step for the protection of children online, combining the monitoring expertise and experience of both organisations at a time where both UKSIC and Ofsted Abuse Reviews have highlighted the need for improved digital safeguarding at all levels.
The acquisition by Smoothwall makes strategic sense for the combined businesses, enabling the enlarged group to leverage the skills and technology of both businesses to further improve pupil safety and provide the capacity required to help it clients comply with the increased regulation in this area. We are proud to have supported the growth of the company to date and deliver a profitable return to our investors.
Jeremy Thompson, Investment Director at Maven