K-12 Dealmaking: CDI Forges Partnership; Chan-Zuckerberg Invests $5M in Teacher Housing

Contributing Writer

In the latest dealmaking news, ed-tech companies in Indonesia and Britain raise funding, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative invests $5 million in a fund that helps teachers afford their own homes.

Carson-Dellosa Acquires Rourke Educational Media: Greensboro, N.C.- based Carson-Dellosa Publishing, LLC, a children’s publisher that provides educational solutions, has completed its acquisition Rourke Educational Media, according to a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Rourke, based in Vero Beach, Fla., provides informational texts and children’s books and also offers e-book content, instructional software, and ELL and biliteracy programs, according to the company. Rourke will retain its imprint, and James Colandrea, president of Rourke will join the Carson-Dellosa leadership team as general manager – Rourke.

“Rourke’s quality products and the team’s expertise in reaching institutional customers allow us to accelerate our growth and to diversify our operations,” said Al Greco, CEO of Carson-Dellosa. This is a great fit for our organization.”

Last August, private equity firm Birch Hill Equity Partners sold Carson-Dellosa to Guardian Capital Partners.

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Invests $5 Million in Landed: The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has invested $5 million to create a down payment support fund that will make it easier for educators in the Redwood City, Ravenswood City, and Sequoia Union High School districts in California to buy homes, according to a statement from Landed.

Landed assists teachers and school staff with down payments on homes. Any proceeds that are generated from this fund will be continually re-invested into helping more educators access homeownership as a housing option, according to Landed.

Landed, which is backed by Y Combinator, prominent angel and venture capital investors, banking executives, former directors of federal housing authorities, and others, will fund up to half of a down payment–up to $120,000– on a primary residence.

Mrs. Wordsmith Raises $2.5 Million: London-based ed-tech startup Mrs. Wordsmith has raised $2.5 million (2 million British pounds) in a seed funding round led by Kindred Capital.  Other investors include specialist ed-tech investor Reach Capital, SaatchiNvest, and Ropart Asset Management, among others.

Mrs. Wordsmith offers a subscription-based vocabulary program that aims to help young people “learn rich and unique words in a way that’s visual, and easier to grasp and retain,” the company said.

The company said it will use the funding to continue to develop and improve its subscription-based paper product, and to fully develop its intuitive dictionary, the word engine that will understand the context and relevance when a user queries a word. The company will also use the capital to build out its technology team and to expand internationally into consumer and school audiences.

Indonesian Ed-Tech Startup Raises Up to $8 Million: Jakarta-based ed-tech tutoring company Ruangguru has raised $7-8 million in a Series B funding round, according to an exclusive report from DealStreetAsia that cites sources familiar with the deal. A list of investors was not available.

The company unveiled a “seven-digit U.S. dollar” series A funding round led by Venturra Capital in 2015 with participation from East Ventures, according to the company’s blog. East Ventures had also participated in a seed 2014 investment.

CDI Partners With Impero Software: CDI Computer Dealers, a provider of education technology solutions, has formed a partnership with classroom monitoring and management software provider Impero Software, according to a statement.

As part of its established line-up of hardware and software solutions for education, CDI will be offering Impero’s flagship product, Impero Education Pro, a cross-platform software suite designed to support K-12 digital learning.

Impero Education Pro software provides real-time monitoring and uses algorithms stored in keyword libraries so teachers can track potentially dangerous online activities such as cyberbullying, the company noted. Impero Education Pro’s keyword libraries have been developed in collaboration with citizen protection organizations including the Internet Watch Foundation, Digital Citizen Institute and iKeepSafe.

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

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