About

Appian Education Ventures is a firm that invests in and operates high-growth for-profit educational ventures in Latin America.

Appian is the result of the collective view of its founders that the education sector in the region is lagging and that private investment is key to unlocking quality and growth. At the core of Appian’s vision is the idea that well-targeted, socially-conscious private investment in education can have a profound impact in the future of Latin America.

An early and growth stage venture firm, Appian started its operations in 2012 with an investment in the K-12 segment in Colombia; such transaction remains the largest K-12 deal in Colombia to date. Following further acquisitions in the region to enhance its portfolio and significant educational and operational improvements, Appian successfully sold its K-12 assets to an international strategic investor in 2017. Appian is also an investor in early stage companies with the potential to disrupt the educational market in the region.

Team

Our team of professionals has decades of combined experience in education, venture capital and government affairs.

Our founding members have substantial track record launching, operating and scaling educational companies, as well as managing investment portfolios, executing M&A and structuring transactions. In building our team we have bridged two traditionally disconnected fields: deep knowledge of the education space –ranging from the classroom to the policy-making level- with sophisticated business and venture capital knowledge and experience.

Luis E Garcia de Brigard

Founder and managing partner

Luis has started, managed and scaled educational companies from the ground up to multi-million dollar businesses.  more

Juan Uribe

Partner

Juan has spent most of his career in New York, investing for either hedge funds or private equity funds covering Emerging Markets.  more

Alejandro Maldonado

Partner

Alejandro joined Appian in 2014 and has spent most of his career in the areas of finance, strategy, and direct equity investments.
 more

Philosophy

The Latin American Education industry epitomizes the ‘chicken or egg’ paradox: in order to achieve substantial scale, quality education companies and entrepreneurs require the inflow of sophisticated investment. However, most investment firms with an education focus in the region rely on a model that is limited to large ticket sizes into well-established, quality companies. Not surprisingly an overwhelming majority of the investment in the region has been directed to higher-ed.

Consistent with the unique characteristics of the region’s educational industry, we have chosen a hybrid model that incorporates the experience of our founders and smart capital deployment with operational engagement. By combining these approaches, we are capable of covering a wider range of investments, expanding our scope beyond large and well-established companies. We are equally capable of investing in startups, designing rollups, leading turnarounds, and structuring conventional M&A deals. Our unique approach is designed to leverage growth and sophistication –thus yielding higher returns-, while at the same time generating positive impact in the region’s educational landscape.

This investment angle is supported by our deep knowledge of the industry, our operational experience, and a disciplined investment process.

Scale

We view scale as the region’s binding constraint to private educational innovation.  Therefore, our investment approach focuses on achieving scale in a sector that is characteristically fragmented. By engaging in deals designed to promote effective growth, we cover industry niches traditionally overlooked by other firms.

Impact

Latin America has one of the lowest-performing educational systems in the world; this undermines the potential of a region that faces enormous growth prospects, leveraged by its population bonus and natural resources. We invest in companies that contribute to unleashing the talent of the region by developing innovative approaches that help bring QUALITY education to millions of people.

Engagement

The traditional venture capital and private equity approach falls short for the region’s needs. We believe that our investments must be accompanied by active operational engagement that goes beyond board involvement. This hands-on approach equips companies with a set of talent, tools, and networks that are usually unavailable to companies outside of the higher education sector.

Pace

Timing matters. The region is experiencing changes that will enhance the advantage of the first-mover. We have developed a lean investment approach that facilitates capital deployment while simultaneously permitting methodical and rigorous diligence processes.

Impact

We invest in companies that contribute to unleashing the talent of the region by developing innovative approaches that help bring quality education to millions of students.

Our research shows that Latin American families place enormous value on the future of their children; as their income grows, parents are willing to allocate substantial resources to investing in education. Unfortunately, most of the current offering–whether public or private- is of low quality and scantly connected with the competencies that students will require to succeed in a 21st century economy. Appian invests in companies that are unequivocally committed to transforming this reality by developing innovative educational models that can combine quality and scale to make a real difference in the region.

Through our social responsibility program, we actively support organizations that are making significant contributions to education in Latin America.

Areas of focus

K-12

Technical and Vocational Training

Publishing

Educational technologies

Contact us

Part of our strategy involves finding strategic partners who can provide know-how and capital to grow our business and increase our impact. If your organization is interested in the Latin American education sector, feel free to contact us.

 

APPIAN
[email protected]

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