K-12 Dealmaking: ACT Invests in Assessment Company; VitalSource Makes Acquisition

Contributing Writer

The longtime testing company ACT has invested in an open-source assessment provider, and a Chinese science and math company has raised $44 million in capital.

ACT Invests in Open Assessment Technologies: ACT has made a strategic investment in Open Assessment Technologies, a provider of open-source assessment solutions, according to a statement. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ACT’s investment “will enable OAT to further scale and diversify its product and service offerings globally,” according to the statement.

In addition, the investment will provide a “robust foundation for product interoperability, a key requirement for digital learning and assessment solutions across educational and corporate sectors.”

ACT joins European assessment and technology leaders Cito and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology as Open Assessment Technology’s institutional shareholders.

VitalSource Acquires Acrobatiq: Digital content provider VitalSource Technologies has acquired the assets of learning and data analytics platform Acrobatiq, VitalSource said in a statement. The acquisition will dramatically expand access to cutting-edge and personalized digital course experiences designed to improve student outcomes. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“By combining Acrobatiq’s cognitive and data science-based platform with VitalSource’s valued relationships with publishers and institutions, we have an opportunity to bring high-impact learning to the market at an unprecedented scale,” said Pep Carrera, president of VitalSource.

In addition, VitalSource argued that the Acrobatiq platform will provides VitalSource partners with a powerful new option to create and deliver rich digital courses that “adapt to the needs of each learner.”

Eric Frank, the CEO of Acrobatiq, said his organization had built a platform that “helps student learn,” but it needs the content of its new partner.

“Our customers want that content to come from publishers, open education resources, or to create it themselves,” he said. “Often, they want to do all of the above in a single course. Being a part of VitalSource brings that possibility to life.”

Makeblock Raises $44 Million: STEAM education company Makeblock has raised approximately $44 million in Series C funding at the valuation of around $367 million, in a funding round led by CICC ALPHA, according to a statement. Also participating are Yuexiu Industrial Investment Fund, GX Capital and Everest Capital.

Makeblock said it will use the financing to accelerate research and development, marketing and subsidiary company operations, adding that the company plans to launch new products in this October.

“We will introduce more products of lower threshold to families and schools,” said Jasen Wang, founder and CEO of Makeblock. He said the company has grown rapidly in Europe, Asia, the Americas and China. The company is a multi-national organization with 500 employees and subsidiary companies in America, the Netherlands, Japan and Hong Kong.

It says it has worked with over 1,600 global channel partners; forged business in over 140 countries and regions and engagements with Microsoft and strategic partners such as Japan’s SoftBank C&S.

Edgenuity Partners with Purpose Prep: Edgenuity, a provider of online curriculum and instructional services for the K-12 market, has formed a partnership with Purpose Prep to “make the benefits of social-emotional learning available to more students,” the companies said.

Purpose Prep is an online course company that seeks to provide interactive and engaging course solutions for K-12 districts and schools.

“Our partnership with Purpose Prep will ensure that students have access to tools they need to become well-rounded members of their communities and global citizens while improving academic achievement,” said Sari Factor, CEO of Edgenuity.

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