Top marks for schools software company as it is acquired by US business

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CPOMS, which provides SaaS safeguarding software to schools, says that following three years of partnership with private equity firm ECI Partners, it has been acquired by US school safety software business – Raptor Technologies.

The acquisition was made following strategic investments in Raptor by Thoma Bravo and existing investor JMI Equity. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

CPOMS’s safeguarding platform enables primary and secondary school staff to log concerns relating to student wellbeing, while its StaffSafe product strengthens governance relating to staff members and its Engage module ensures alignment between schools and local authorities.

The Skipton-based company has experienced significant organic growth following an investment by ECI Partners in March 2018, increasing its client base from 6,000 schools to more than 14,000 schools, and has significantly grown its international presence, now selling into 34 countries.

In 2020 the business was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Gray Hall, CEO of Raptor Technologies, will lead the expanded organisation, while John Wild, current managing director of CPOMS, becomes managing director of UK Operations for both Raptor and CPOMS, working alongside the existing CPOMS management team.

Wild said: “Raptor was the perfect fit for CPOMS. Both companies have dedicated themselves to keeping schools and students safe and share very similar cultures.

“We at CPOMS are excited about joining the Raptor organisation and look forward to the enhanced growth opportunities ahead.

“We would like to thank ECI for what has been a transformational partnership over the last three years.

“Their support in devising our growth strategies and international expansion has been invaluable in getting us to this next stage of our journey.”

John Hayhurst, partner at ECI, said: “It has been a pleasure to be able to play even a small part in the important work that CPOMS does in protecting pupils and teachers through its SaaS platform.

“I’d like to thank John and the whole management team for the exceptional job they have done growing CPOMS, and I wish them every success with Raptor Technologies in the future.”

Raptor is trusted by over 35,000 US schools, through its management system for visitors and volunteers, as well as emergency preparation, response and recovery.

The company plans to use the acquisition of CPOMS to accelerate growth in the UK and harness the CPOMS capabilities to bolster its offering in the US.

Gray Hall, CEO at Raptor Technologies, said: “We are excited to add CPOMS best-in-class wellbeing products to Raptor’s market-leading school safety product suite and to welcome the CPOMS team into the Raptor family.

“Combining their software and domain expertise with Raptor further advances our mission to protect every child, every school, every day.”

In connection with its acquisition of CPOMS, Raptor closed a new round of strategic financing led by Thoma Bravo, a software investment firm, with additional participation from existing investors JMI Equity and Ares Capital.

Adam Solomon, principal at Thoma Bravo, said: “School safety needs in the UK and US continue to evolve, with solutions for managing the wellbeing and safety of students being paramount.

“Through this investment and acquisition, we see tremendous potential for Raptor to extend its market leadership in school safety and its continued deployment of innovative solutions to schools in the US and UK.”

Bob Nye, general partner at JMI Equity, added: “Combining CPOMS with Raptor creates a company with unique capabilities to help schools manage the safety and wellbeing of their students. We’re excited about this acquisition and the strategic opportunity ahead.”

Adrian Reed, Paul Lines, Matthew Furness and Rupert Sadler from GCA Altium provided sell-side financial advisory, while Addleshaw Goddard provided legal advice.