Lingit acquires Claro Software

23 Apr, 2018

Verdane Capital IX portfolio company Lingit AS, which provides software that offers multilingual literacy support for dyslexics and others with reading and writing difficulties, makes its first international move through the acquisition of its British peer Claro Software.

An estimated 10-15% of the population have some form of reading and writing difficulty, and around 5-10% have dyslexia. Lingit develops software that makes reading and writing easier by assisting with spelling, vocabulary and reading in text processing programmes for computers and tablets. The user must do the actual work, but receives support so that many reading and writing errors can be avoided

“Verdane Capital IX invested in Lingit in 2017, with a plan to launch the technology internationally. Through the acquisition of Claro Software, a British software company offering reading and writing support to dyslexics and others with reading and writing difficulties, Lingit has taken its first step abroad”, says Joakim Kjemperud, Investment Professional in Verdane Capital Advisors.

“Both companies offer software to the same target groups, and we are approximately of the same size. Claro Software, however, has a strong position in the British market, and has established sales to countries such as France, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and Sweden. The acquisition represents the perfect starting point for our future international growth, says Frode M. Thulien, CEO of Lingit AS.

Founded in 2004, Claro Software has 14 employees and is headquartered in Preston, UK. Claro Software offers software for reading and writing support for PC, Mac and several other platforms. The company had revenues of NOK 35 million in 2017.

“By combining our development teams and experience from working with different customer groups and users, we will create even better products to help dyslexics and others with reading and writing difficulties in Norway, England and the rest of Europe. Our technology may help millions of dyslexics globally, and we are only at the beginning of our international growth journey,” says Thulien.

Lingit offers a range of software based products for reading and writing support in Norwegian, English, German, French and Spanish for PC, Mac and tablets, and has recently launched upgraded versions of its reading and writing tools Textpilot and Lingdys.

“We have set a new standard for reading and writing support software. Everyone in Lingit is passionate about language and learning. Our tools ensure that children and adults receive the necessary support to deal with their dyslexia, so that they can have the same educational, vocational and career opportunities as everyone else. Use of our software is fairly widespread in Norway, but there are still many Norwegians with reading and writing difficulties who are unaware of the tools available to them,” says Thulien.

About Lingit AS

Lingit was founded in 2001 by leading academics at NTNU in Trondheim, including professor in language technology, Torbjørn Nordgård, who is today the company’s head of research and development. In 2012, Lingit merged with its Bergen based competitor Include, a company founded by Sverre Andreas Holbye, a teacher of the visually impaired, today responsible for Lingit’s business development. The company has programmers in Bergen, Norway, and Ukraine. In 2017, Verdane Capital IX invested in Lingit and became the company’s largest shareholder, with the plan to launch the company internationally. In 2018, Lingit acquired Claro Software, which has a strong market position in the UK and sales to several European countries. Lingit AS’ headquarters are in Trondheim. www.lingit.no

About Verdane Capital

Verdane funds provide flexible growth capital to fast growing software, consumer internet, energy or high-technology industry businesses. The funds are distinctive in that they can invest either in a single company, or in portfolios of companies. Verdane funds have €1.2bn in commitments and have invested in over 300 holdings over the past 14 years. Verdane Capital Advisors has 29 employees working out of offices in Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo and Stockholm. More information can be found at: www.verdanecapital.com