ClearCourse acquires e-commerce software provider EKM

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London | 04 October 2021 – ClearCourse Partnership (“ClearCourse” or “the Group”), a group of innovative technology companies providing useful, integrated software solutions, today announces a deal to acquire EKM, (“the Company”), a leading provider of e-commerce and online retail software. The acquisition strengthens ClearCourse’s e-commerce and online retail capabilities and sees the Company join the Group’s Business Services division.

Founded in 2002, EKM provides the UK’s leading independent e-commerce platform, delivering software that powers over £350m of transactions annually for its customer base of SME online retailers. EKM’s system offers a full suite of e-commerce solutions, with capabilities including online shop design and visitor conversion tools. Following the acquisition, EKM and its customers will also benefit from the integration of ClearCourse’s proprietary payments platform, ClearAccept – alongside leading global players.

Brands across the ClearCourse Partnership will reap the rewards of EKM’s acquisition. Those in the firm’s Retail Division, such as Swan Retail and The EPOS Bureau, will benefit from EKM’s e-commerce offering. The latter’s services will be integrated into business domains including furniture, garden centres, department stores, farm shops and artisanal food.

Based in Preston, EKM has helped tens of thousands of independent retailers across the UK and Ireland, servicing small businesses and entrepreneurs from cosmetics retailers to astronomy centres. Its customers are at the centre of the company’s product and customer service, which is designed to help their businesses tangibly increase their revenues with ease.

Gerry Gualtieri, CEO of ClearCourse, commented:

We are very pleased to announce that EKM will be joining the ClearCourse Group. It is a fantastic business which has grown from strength to strength since its inception, and we are excited to learn from the expertise of Antony and his team. EKM will bring a range of positive synergies to ClearCourse and our existing brands, and its acquisition will be a significant expansion of our e-commerce and retail offering.”

Antony Chesworth, Founder and Managing Director of EKM, said: 

“We are excited to be joining the ClearCourse Group, which will enable us to take the next steps in our nearly 20-year journey to help even more people to spend life doing something they love with their own easy-to-use online shop. The range of services, products and expertise within ClearCourse offers great synergies to our customers and will help us to grow their online businesses even further. “

ClearCourse was advised by Squire Patton Boggs (legal), Alvarez & Marsal (finance and tax), and Crosslake (technical due diligence). EKM was advised by Preston Napthens office (legal), Convex Capital (finance), and MHA Moore & Smalley (tax).

The financial terms of the deal are undisclosed.


Notes to Editors

About ClearCourse Partnership

ClearCourse is a group of innovative technology companies providing useful, integrated solutions to help organisations become more efficient, more effective, and more profitable.

The Group companies service the payments, membership, business services, events & leisure, and retail sectors, providing solutions that grow with your business, adding essential functionality that helps you achieve your goals.

By working with a ClearCourse company, organisations benefit from a technology partner with a deep understanding of their organisational challenges, the security that comes from private equity backing and the collective years of experience across the group.

To learn more about ClearCourse and discover more companies in the Group visit:

About EKM

EKM was founded in 2002 and today is the UK’s highest-rated and most trusted ecommerce provider, having helped over 80,000 people start selling online and doing something they love.

Based in Preston, EKM is home to a team of over 80, with decades of ecommerce experience housed in purpose-built offices. EKM was the first cloud-based ecommerce platform in the UK and helps businesses generate over half a billion pounds in sales every year.

EKM understands starting a new online business or growing an existing online business can be difficult, so each shop is assigned a dedicated, UK-based Account Manager available via telephone during regular UK office hours, to help you get your online shop set up.

Each website plan has a fixed cost and is designed to scale as your business grows. Unlike many platforms, EKM doesn’t take any transaction fees or cuts of online sales. Additionally, its unique Evolution Mode ensures customers’ websites never go out of date.

For further information, go to

ClearCourse press contacts:

Suezelle D’Costa, Hawthorn Advisors

(t:) 073 9535 7869

(e:) [email protected]

James Raftery, Hawthorn Advisors

(t:) 079 2766 8139

(e:) [email protected]

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