Tactus Group invests in coding and robotics firm Pi-top

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UK developer of consumer technology products Tactus Group is expanding into the U.S. market with investment in Pi-top, the coding and robotics firm that specialises in improving digital skills in education.

Following previous projects with the UK’s Department for Education, the investment aims to strengthen Tactus Group’s capabilities in coding and robotics, as well as supporting its education sector offerings.

According to the partnership, the deal will also enable Pi-top to tap into Tactus’ supply chain knowledge, providing greater access to markets including China and the UK.

Founded in 2014, Pi-top aims to increase access to coding and technical education through its project-based learning software platform and its Raspberry Pi-based hardware. Pi-top said it has already nearly doubled its paying accounts in the first half of 2021.

The firm has shipped over 100,000 computing devices and 150,000 accessories worldwide, reaching over a million students. The company’s products are designed to enable schools and learners at home to blend physical computing with traditional computer science and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) education.

Stanley Buchesky, CEO of Pi-top, said: “We are excited to have Tactus as a major backer. Their expertise in scaling high-tech businesses will be synergistic with our rapid growth.

“Tactus’ investment vision and dedication to corporate social responsibility fit well with our mission of making it fun and easy for students around the world to learn the job skills of the future.”

This investment follows Tactus’ £10m backing from private equity firm Arete Capital Partners earlier this year, and it used this funding to finalise the subsequent acquisition of gaming specialist CCL Computers in April.

Scott Brenchley, CEO at Tactus Group, added: “The US is a lot more advanced when it comes to robotics in schools – it’s had a real focus on digital skills in recent years. With coding becoming increasingly important in education across the world, Pi-top has a significant opportunity to expand its global customer base.

“We remain committed to keeping ESG at the heart of our investment rationale, and the opportunity to provide pupils globally with access to higher quality technology was a key reason behind the investment. I’m looking forward to working alongside the existing management team at Pi-top to improve access for students to digital skills at an early age.”

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