Madison Dearborn Partners LLC has made an investment in Austin-based Lightspeed Systems, an educational technology solutions provider. No financial terms were disclosed. William Blair & Company served as financial adviser to Lightspeed with DLA Piper LLP providing legal counsel. And, Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal advice to MDP.
AUSTIN, Texas—May 1, 2019— Leading education technology solutions provider Lightspeed Systems (“Lightspeed” or “the Company”), announced today that it has completed its previously announced strategic growth investment from private equity funds advised by Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC (“MDP”), a leading private equity firm based in Chicago. The investment will enable Lightspeed to drive forward its growth strategy as adoption of its market-leading technology continues to increase. Lightspeed’s existing management team will remain in place and have an ownership position in the Company, as will the Company’s Co-Founders.
“This is an exciting day for Lightspeed and the educators and students we serve. With the support of MDP and its education technology resource network, Lightspeed will be better positioned to capture growth as a leader in the ongoing education technology revolution,” said Brian Thomas, Lightspeed’s Co-Founder, President and CEO. “We look forward to executing our growth strategy and capitalizing on favorable market trends in support of our mission to enhance student safety and maximize the benefits of education technology. Together with MDP, we are confident that we can bring our innovative solutions to more K-12 students around the world.”
Lightspeed has been building and evolving technology for more than 20 years and serves over 15 million students worldwide today, offering market-leading, purpose-built software through its multi-OS Relay cloud platform that filters, monitors and manages student web access, distributed devices and classroom activities and provides powerful reporting and student safety tools. Having served K-12 schools since 1999, Lightspeed’s differentiated ability to operate across any device, operating system or network has positioned the Company as a leader as the demand for technology in the classroom that can help safeguard the health and wellness of students continues to grow.
MDP will work with Lightspeed’s leadership team to capitalize on attractive growth opportunities for the Company worldwide. These include helping extend Lightspeed’s market leadership position, further penetrating the growing domestic and international K-12 web filtering and reporting, mobile device management and classroom management market, and continuing to deepen end-customer relationships while leveraging channel partner sales initiatives.
In addition to the equity investment, Lightspeed has received debt financing from a term loan and revolving credit facility provided by PNC Bank, N.A. Terms were not disclosed.
William Blair & Company served as Lightspeed’s financial advisor, and DLA Piper LLP provided legal counsel to Lightspeed. Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal advice to MDP. MDP also engaged GSV Advisors, a leading advisory firm dedicated to the education and HR technology sector, for strategic counsel.
About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 28,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated filtering, management, monitoring, and protection for schools through its groundbreaking platform, Relay. Headquartered in Austin, TX (with offices in Portland and the U.K.), Lightspeed serves over 15 million students in 35 countries. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.
About Madison Dearborn Partners
Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC (“MDP”), based in Chicago, is a leading private equity investment firm in the United States. Since MDP’s formation in 1992, the firm has raised seven funds with aggregate capital of approximately $23 billion and has completed over 140 investments. MDP is currently investing out of its most recent fund, $4.4 billion MDCP Fund VII, in businesses across a broad spectrum of industries, including businesses and government software and services; financial and transaction services; basic industries; health care; and telecom, media and technology services. For more information, please visit https://www.mdcp.com.