Shaw Academy Secures €7,000,000+ Investment and Successfully Exits Examinership

1 April 2019

DUBLIN, April 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Shaw Academy, the personalised online educational platform, has successfully exited Examinership after a Scheme was this week approved in the High Court. The successful Scheme was backed by a consortium of successful education, media and technology entrepreneurs. The Company, which develops accredited online courses such as photography, nutrition, marketing and technology, has taught almost five million students world-wide by creating affordable and engaging content. Uniquely students attending the Company's online courses are able to ask questions and these are addressed predominantly by its in-house developed AI driven chatbot with high ratings for its responses.

The Approved Scheme, which has the full support of Shaw Academy's directors and management team, is the result of a competitive process where a number of firm bids were received for the business both domestically and from abroad.

The consortium comprises:

  • Folens Publishing - Since its foundation in 1958, Folens has been at the forefront of Irish educational publishing, producing books for the Irish curriculum. The family owned business also invests in early stage education technology businesses.
  • Sean Tai – An active investor in internet companies specialising in EduTech, SaaS and marketplaces. Sean has two decades of expertise in founding and building successfully  global web-based platforms which will be invaluable to Shaw Academy.
  • Michael O'Rourke - Irish based entrepreneur with experience founding and managing rapidly growing businesses within the telecommunications and media industries. Michael previously founded and built Setanta Sports into a global sports broadcaster.
  • Stephen Murphy – Previously Group CEO of the Virgin Group having succeeded Sir Richard Branson, Stephen has accumulated over 30 years' experience in senior management positions and has been Chairperson of Shaw Academy since 2017.
  • David Brown - Co-Founder of Oxford International Education Group, one of the UK's largest private Education companies, David has over 30 years' experience in international education.
  • Neil Balnaves – An Australian based investor/philanthropist with extensive experience in the global media industry. Neil has also held numerous high level advisory positions in both Universities and Research Institutes.
  • Beach Point Capital – An Irish based debt investor specialising in sponsorless venture debt deals which focus on backing growth-focused management teams.

KPMG Corporate Finance advised the Company throughout the process.

John Cadell of Folens and Sean Tai will join Shaw Academy's Board, which includes James Egan (Founder and CEO) and Stephen Murphy (Chairperson). Speaking on the €7,000,000 investment, James Egan said:

"We are delighted to have successfully exited Examinership and significantly strengthened Shaw Academy with this investment. Each of the experienced investors' contributions is an endorsement of our potential and objective of providing higher education at lower cost to a global audience. The demand for higher education at lower cost has never been greater and Shaw Academy has only just begun to scratch the surface. The company now has ample capital to grow and innovate, world class investors and a highly focused management team. We are very excited about what the future holds for Shaw Academy."

John Cadell of Folens said:

"We are excited to be supporting this investment in Shaw Academy. Folens has a history of supporting Irish education technology entrepreneurs and we have known the team for some time. We continue to be impressed by what the team have delivered and the business model. Education services is a large part of any economy and has seen little automation compared to other industries. We feel confident the business is well placed to address that."

For further information please contact John White, Chief Strategy Officer at Shaw Academy at


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SOURCE Shaw Academy