Precocious entrepreneur Jamie Beaton, who became a multi-millionaire aged only 20, has continued on the acquisition trail with his tutoring service Crimson Consulting taking over NumberWorks'nWords.

The purchase price was not disclosed but Beaton intimated - given NumberWorks'nWords had a client base of 12,000 students - that the deal was significant.

NumberWorks is said to run nearly 100 after-school learning centres, mostly in New Zealand and Australia and with smaller presences in Britain, the Philippines and Singapore.

Beaton said the acquisition expanded Crimson's business from the secondary into the primary school-age bracket and made Crimson the largest player in the New Zealand after-school tutoring market.


"I did a lot of tutoring as a young learner and found NumberWorks' personalised approach, fun spirit and focus on building foundations incredibly valuable," he said from Beijing.

Crimson Consulting was founded by Beaton while he studied at Harvard University as a teenager. The 21-year-old recently graduated from the elite Boston university with a masters degree in finance.

Crimson is modelled mostly on Beaton's own educational over-achievement, punctuated by being named joint dux at King's College, and the company's initial focus was on priming secondary students to compete for admission and scholarships at ivy league universities.

Crimson's shareholding list is a mixture of billionaires - including New York-based Tiger Management's Julian Robertson and Chase Coleman, who Beaton also works for as an analyst - and Aucklanders involved in either founding the company or investors during a first round of capital-raising as part of Auckland University's Icehouse.

Recent capital-raising valued Crimson at US$60 million ($84.55 million). This priced Beaton's nearly half stake at US$26 million.

The company has aggressively been on the acquisition trail over the past 12 months, including buying up rival firms MedView and UniTutor.

Beaton said the NumberWorks deal left Crimson well-placed to compete against rivals in New Zealand, but he would soon turn his attention to larger markets including China.

"It doesn't move the dial much for us internationally, but right now we have very strong penetration across a lot of segments across the country."