K-12 Dealmaking: Boxlight, Education Networks of America Make Acquisitions

Contributing Writer

In this week’s dealmaking news, ed-tech companies including Boxlight and Education Networks of America announced acquisitions.

Boxlight Acquires Qwizdom: Boxlight Corporation, a provider of interactive technology solutions for the global education market, has completed the acquisition of Qwizdom, an education software company focused on providing classroom presentation and engagement solutions, according to a statement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Boxlight acquired Qwizdom for cash, debt and common stock valued at approximately $2.5 million.  

“The combined emphasis on collaborative software that improves classroom learning results in a win-win partnership for both companies and for the collective customer base,” Boxlight said in the statement.

Qwizdom develops software and hardware solutions that aim to increase participation, provide immediate data feedback, and accelerate and improve comprehension and learning. The company has offices outside Seattle and Belfast, Northern Ireland, and delivers products in 44 languages to customers around the world through a network of partners.

“Our two companies share synergies and we are dedicated to focus on our expansion strategy of emerging as a global leader and provider of interactive technologies,” said Mark Elliott, CEO of Boxlight.

Education Networks of America Acquires CatchOn: Education Networks of America has acquired Dallas-based ed-tech company CatchOn, according to a statement from ENA. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“The deal pairs ENA’s comprehensive infrastructure technology and support services with CatchOn’s unique software as a service tool that delivers essential data about ed tech usage in U.S. schools,” ENA said in the statement.

Nashville-based ENA is an internet service provider works works with education and library communities across the United States, providing them with broadband, Wi-Fi/LAN, communication, cloud and security solutions.

CatchOn is an administrative tool that aims to provide district technology leaders with real-time evidence about app use, implementation fidelity, cost and return on investment. The tool is designed to collect up-to-the-minute data on every device type and all app, software and website activity, allowing districts to see 100 percent of activity on 100 percent of devices at their schools.

“Adding CatchOn to the ENA family of companies builds capacity and means even more schools will benefit from our shared tools, infrastructure and support services,” said Lillian Kellogg, senior vice president at ENA.

Sphero Acquires Specdrums: Sphero, a provider of educational robots that aim to bring together play and STEAM learning, has acquired Specdrums, a Boulder-based music teach startup for an undisclosed sum, according to a statement.

Specdrums offers app-controlled rings worn on a user’s fingers that turn color into sound with a simple tap. Sphero’s team of developers and engineers will work alongside the Specdrums founders to develop additional products, the companies said in the statement.

As a result of this acquisition, Sphero will launch a second version of Specdrums in late 2018 or early 2019.

“With Sphero’s infrastructure and the groundwork that the Specdrums founders have already completed, we believe there’s a huge opportunity to continue to inspire curiosity in classrooms and beyond,” said Paul Berberian, CEO of Sphero.

ApplyBoard Raises $13 Million: Waterloo, Ontario-based ApplyBoard, an AI-enabled marketplace designed for international students to apply to study at institutions of higher education globally, has raised $13 million in a Series A funding round led by Artiman Ventures, with earlier investors 500 Startups, Candou Ventures, Think+ and others following on, according to an announcement on The PE Hub Network.

ApplyBoard’s proprietary platform aims to streamline the application process by curating a student’s profile based upon a number of factors including academic and financial background, and desired major, and match the student with a list of highly correlated schools and programs.

“The majority of the seven million international students will struggle to find their ideal colleges, and instead will select where they spend the next four years and potentially the rest of their lives, based upon internet searches and random chance,” said Akhil Saklecha, partner at Artiman Ventures.  The company, seeks to create “a highly efficient application solution for students and colleges globally.”

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