K-12 Dealmaking: PowerSchool to Acquire SunGard’s K-12 Business; India’s Ed. Companies Make Moves

Contributing Writer

In this week’s dealmaking news, PowerSchool agreed to purchase SunGard’s K-12 business from financial services technology company FIS. Canadian ed-tech company Knowledgehook, meanwhile, raised $1.25 million, and Edmentum formed a partnership Carone Learning.

And, in a reminder of the strong level of dealmaking activity underway in India, where economic growth continues to surge, one company based in that market announced a big acquisition, and another said it has secured fundraising.

PowerSchool to Acquire SunGard K-12: K-12 education technology solutions PowerSchool, agreed to acquire the SunGard K-12 business from financial services technology company FIS, according to a statement from PowerSchool. A separate statement from FIS said Vista Equity Partners, owner of PowerSchool, announced that FIS agreed to sell its SunGard Public Sector and education businesses to Vista for $850 million.

A provider of school administrative software solutions, SunGard K-12 offers cloud-enabled enterprise resource planning (ERP) and regional student information system (SIS) software built for the K-12 market. SunGard’s ERP platform provides finance, human resources, payroll, and compliance for K-12 schools and districts.

“As more schools move to integrated cloud solutions to reduce costs and make investments that improve student achievement, having a partner that provides a comprehensive, integrated suite of applications is critical to their success,” said Hardeep Gulati, PowerSchool’s CEO. “Upon closing, the acquisition of SunGard K-12 allows PowerSchool to continue to improve the K-12 education experience by delivering unified features that span school administration compliance and instruction.”

The SunGard Public Sector business will become a new independent company under the ownership of Vista and will remain focused on providing technology solutions to government entities, while the SunGard Education business will become part of Vista-owned PowerSchool to create a more comprehensive K-12 technology solution offering for the education market, according to the statement from FIS.

Gary Norcross, president and CEO of FIS noted in the statement that “this divestiture is consistent with our strategy to serve the financial services markets.”

Knowledgehook Raises $1.25 Million: Waterloo, Ontario-based education software company Knowledgehook has secured $1.25 million in financing to fund the platform’s expansion into global markets, according to a statement from the company.

The round was led by Sayan Navaratnam of Aadya Capital and the CEO of Connex Telecommunications. It also includes investors Steve Case, the co-founder of AOL, and John Abele, co-founder of Boston Scientific.

The Knowledgehook platform, which uses real-time student data to improve teacher instruction, is utilized by more than 75 percent of Ontario school boards and in more than 300 school districts in the United States, according to the company.

Waterford Acquires Curriculet: The Waterford Institute, a provider of tech-based literacy products, has acquired Curriculet, a company that weaves digital assessments and annotations into written texts, including newspaper stories, but which ceased operations this year. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Curriculet’s reading program will become part of the Waterford curriculum and provide students from grades 3 to 6 “with a breadth of individualized reading experiences,” according to a statement.

Edmentum Partners with Carone Learning: Edmentum, a provider of technology-driven individualized learning solutions, announces its new partnership with Carone Learning. Carone Learning offers online health, physical education (PE), elective, and career courses for elementary, middle, and high school students, Edmentum said in a statement.

“With our broad depth and breadth of courses, students are provided with personalized options for health and fitness courses,” said Edmentum’s Plato Courseware senior product manager, Dr. Shannan LaMalfa. “This partnership is a continuation of Edmentum’s strong dedication to providing learners with diverse choices and opportunities to explore subjects outside of the core curriculum.”

Through this partnership, Edmentum will now offer over 65 semesters of health, fitness, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculum, the company said.

Next Education Acquires Xolvr: Next Education, a learning solution provider for K-12 students based in Hyderabad, India, acquired ed-tech startup Xolvr for an undisclosed amount, according to press reports.

Post-acquisition, the Xolvr team will move to Hyderabad and its platform will be integrated to Next Education’s self-learning product LearnNext. With this deal, LearnNext will get access to over 50 tutors and will be launched in July next year, according to reports.

Math Buddy Raises $438,000: India-based ed-tech startup Math Buddy has raised $438,000 from Menterra Venture Advisors, an early-stage impact fund that makes investments in startups working in the agriculture, energy, education, healthcare, and skill sectors.

Be sure to check back on Marketplace K-12 for updates on mergers, acquisitions, fundraising, and other dealmaking.

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