K-12 Dealmaking: ACT to Invest in ProExam; Capstone Sells myON

Contributing Writer

In this week’s dealmaking news, ACT announced it will invest in ProExam, a provider of noncognitive and professional credentialing. In addition, Capstone, a children’s book publisher and provider of digital products and services, sold myON to technology investor Francisco Partners.

ACT to Invest in ProExam: College and career readiness assessment provider ACT said it intends to invest in ProExam, a not-for-profit organization focused on noncognitive assessment and professional credentialing, with an eye toward a merger between the two organizations in 2018, according to a statement from the company.

“Education and workplace success require a holistic set of skills, including cognitive and noncognitive skills,” said Marten Roorda, ACT’s CEO. “This investment will allow ACT to tap into ProExam’s expertise in noncognitive assessment, credentialing and consulting. Our goal is to connect noncognitive assessment…to all ACT programs, since such skills are essential to people’s future success. We look forward to adding our own value as we work to expand and enhance ProExam’s offerings.”

ProExam will remain a separate entity for at least a year, after which a merger between the two not-for-profit organizations is anticipated. Collaborative work between ACT and ProExam will begin as soon as the investment is finalized.

Capstone Sells myON to Francisco Partners: Capstone, a publisher of children’s books and digital reading products and services, has sold digital literacy company myON to Francisco Partners, according to a statement.

In conjunction with the transaction, Francisco Partners, a technology investment firm, plans to make a significant growth investment in myON. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

myON students “have access to a personalized literacy ecosystem that offers unlimited reading in a curated library of more than 13,000 digital books dynamically matched to each learner’s reading level and interests,” according to the statement.

“Schools are increasingly embracing technology to improve learning outcomes, and myON’s digital literacy platform is helping millions of children improve reading skills,” said Jason Brein, a principal at Francisco Partners. “We are excited to partner with myON as it continues to deliver on this important mission.”

Harris School Solutions Acquires Quintessential School Systems: Harris School Solutions (HSS), a provider of technology solutions for K-12 districts, charter schools, and continuing education programs across North America, has acquired Quintessential School Systems (QSS), a provider of administrative software and consulting services for those same educational markets, according to a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

By purchasing QSS, HSS “looks not only to expand its line of high-quality software, hardware, and services, but also to increase its presence in California, thereby benefiting—while also expanding—its Financial Solutions business unit’s clientele in the region,” the company said.

Ozobot, Raises $3 Million: Evollve Inc., the hardware maker behind Ozobot, has raised $3 million in a Series A preferred funding round led by Tribeca Venture Partners. Ozobot builds smart, small and social robots that teach the creative side of coding. Funds will be used to support product development of the Ozobot Bit, Ozobot Evo and additional missions and games.

“Our commitment to Ozobot signifies our firm belief that they’re the best way for kids and adults alike to learn the creative side of coding,” said Brian Hirsch, co-founder and managing partner at Tribeca Venture Partners. “Its patent on the color command language makes it the simplest way to learn how to code, and its OzoBlockly language gets so advanced that it keeps Ph.D.s entertained.”

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

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