Add a bookmark to get started

28 July 20214 minute read

DLA Piper advise Graphite Capital on acquisition of personalised children's book publisher Wonderbly

DLA Piper has advised Graphite Capital, a leading UK mid-market private equity specialist, on its acquisition of Wonderbly, the world’s leading publishing platform for personalised children’s books.

As a digital, direct-to-consumer publisher, Wonderbly sells its books in more than 150 countries, with international sales accounting for over 85 per cent of its revenues. The company sold more than one million books in 2020 and, in May this year, won ‘Children’s Publisher of the Year’ at the British Book Awards. Wonderbly was founded in 2012 and following the success of its first children’s picture book it received funding on the television programme Dragon’s Den. It has subsequently received funding from venture capital investors including Google Ventures, Project A Ventures and Greycroft.

The company is also in the early stages of using its technology to develop and market personalised products for blue-chip third-party clients, including Warner Bros. and Universal. Wonderbly’s technology integrates with its clients’ systems, allowing them to market products through their own websites without inventory risk.

Graphite Capital has been investing in management teams since the early 1990s, having backed over 100 companies across a wide range of sectors. It remains committed to the mid-market, focusing on companies valued at between GBP30 million and GBP150 million in the belief that they offer the highest potential returns. Wonderbly is the seventh investment from Graphite’s GBP500 million fund, Graphite Capital Partners IX. It follows the recent investment in Higher Ed International, the global online programme manager for higher education.

The DLA Piper Corporate team consisted of partners John Pryor, Rob Salter, Chris Arnold, senior associate Danny Westmoreland and associates Hugo Cliff and Isabella Gee. The Intellectual Property team was led by partner Duncan Callow and associate Samantha Bradley.

John Pryor said: “We are delighted to have worked alongside Graphite Capital on its latest investment. Our team was able to draw upon leading publishing and technology sector expertise to provide first class support to the team at Graphite Capital. Wonderbly is a fantastically innovative business which has experienced impressive growth in recent years. Under a strong management team, Wonderbly is set to leverage its existing technology to bring its offering to a wider and exciting client base.”