Investment giant PSG Group said on Monday it would merge two of its technology-focused education businesses in a move that will “maximise opportunities in the education space”.

It said the merger of IT School Innovation (ITSI), a developer of electronic text books, and FutureLearn, which offers a wide range of education support services, would boost FutureLearn’s offering and expand ITSI’s market.

“We have identified exciting synergies between the two companies. ITSI’s innovative use of technology enables us to expand on our current offering to learners, teachers, corporate clients, parents and tutors,” said FutureLearn CEO Stefan Botha.

Among other services, FutureLearn runs its own private school, the Arrow Academy, offers online tutorial for children and tertiary students, and provides schools with electronic administrative tools.

“With this merger, we aim to provide truly accessible learning to learners in any environment and at any stage of their lives. We believe that we are creating a unique learning ecosystem where any learner will have access to quality, personalised education,” Botha added.

ITSI CEO Lieb Liebenberg said: “The merger with FutureLearn will enable us to expand into new markets and better serve specific customer needs through a more comprehensive portfolio of products. The merger will further help to continue improving our state-of-the-art teaching and learning solution.”

ITSI recently branched out to provide e-learning solutions to tertiary institutions and individuals. In addition to SA, ITSI’s offerings are also available in Namibia and the UK.

ITSI and FutureLearn are both housed in PSG Alpha Investments, the group’s investment company, which has a mandate to invest in and support companies with exceptional growth potential.

PSG Alpha Investments previously housed Curro, its private school operation. PSG raised R322m when it listed Curro in June 2011. It currently has a market capitalisation of R9.6bn.

As with Curro, PSG Alpha CEO Nico de Waal has big plans for the merged entity.

“FutureLearn’s vision is to provide accessible guided learning at scale. We believe that by joining forces with ITSI, we will be able to make a bigger positive impact in helping solve the challenges around education in SA. The two businesses have complementary technology and we believe all clients will benefit through the joint effort going forward,” he said.