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Cortex Completes Management Buyout

Brian Baglow



The Edinburgh-based company plans to increase headcount, pursue ambitious global sales – and get more involved on a local level.

Digital solutions company Cortex Worldwide, today completed a management buyout for an undisclosed seven-figure sum, from a multi-billion dollar global corporation.

The newly independent company will remain headquartered in Edinburgh. According to Founder and CEO Peter Proud, Cortex is “debt free, cash positive and is now a wholly-owned Scottish company with no institutional investors.”

The company plans to remain investor-free with growth plans focusing on increasing sales and global revenues, rather than pursuing external investment. Cortex claims that 95% of its revenue is already from international clients and will be working jointly with Microsoft as a gold partner, to provide MS Azure Cloud-based services.

Cortex is the company behind Microsoft’s global education network, one of the technology giant’s busiest services, providing over 40 localised sites globally, through five data centres worldwide. The company claims there has been no downtime on any site all of which are fully accessible to partially-sighted and disabled users.

Jason Cockrum, the worldwide director of audience marketing, told DIGIT: “Cortex is an integral partner to Microsoft  having now run the website for 2 years in 45 countries with not a single second downtime. We are excited about Cortex and our continued partnership.”

The company is already recruiting, looking for additional members of its development and quality assurance teams. In addition, the company is already advocate for and supporter of modern apprenticeship schemes. The company already has four graduate-level apprentices as part of the team and is on the board of Edinburgh Napier University’s advisory board.

Scotland’s access to new talent and growing reputation as a leading tech hub played a large part in the decision to locate the new company in Edinburgh, according to Proud. “I’ve spent most of my working life and career travelling, so the opportunity to come home and establish a business in Scotland was very attractive.

“Scotland’s position as a pioneer and technology leader has really gained traction in the last few years with some fantastic businesses gaining international recognition. Combine that with the talent pipeline from the major universities and the close-knit tech community and it was too good an opportunity to pass up.”

Proud also plans to ensure that Cortex becomes an active participant in the country’s tech sector and help to support new talent and other companies to flourish.

“We’re determined to get move involved in the tech sector and the community around it,” he told DIGIT. “As well as pro-actively using apprentices, for the last several years we’ve provided space and support for start-ups within the Cortex office. In addition, we want to get out to the events and meet-ups across the country and share some of the things we’ve learned which may help others and meet the new up-and-coming companies.”

Data visualisation company Nullmighty currently occupy space within Cortex’s Waverley Gate HQ. Before that virtual reality audio start-up Two Big Ears was hosted at Cortex, before the company was acquired by Facebook in 2016.

Proud’s plans for the future remain focused on the practical: “Cortex puts its customers first and focuses on building real value by leveraging our tools and services. We are building a great working environment to enable our employees to thrive.”


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Brian Baglow


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