K-12 Dealmaking: McGraw-Hill Ed. and Cengage Make Acquisitions

Contributing Writer

In recent dealmaking news, McGraw-Hill Education acquired Redbird Advanced Learning, LLC, a digital personalized learning company; in addition, educational content company Cengage acquired WebAssign. In the Asian ed-tech market, Chinese startup Zuoyebang raised $60 million in funding.

McGraw-Hill Education Acquires Redbird Advanced Learning: McGraw-Hill Education has acquired Redbird Advanced Learning, LLC, a digital personalized learning company that offers courses in K-12 math, language arts and writing and virtual professional development programs for educators, according to a statement. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

This is the fourth acquisition McGraw-Hill Education has made since becoming an independent company in 2013, the company noted.

“Redbird shares McGraw-Hill Education’s vision of harnessing the power of research, technology and the highest quality content to create personalized courses that can unlock the full potential of each student,” said David Levin, President and CEO of McGraw-Hill Education.

“The Redbird acquisition allows us to expand our portfolio of adaptive learning products as we continue our transformation from a textbook publisher to a learning science company.”

Cengage Acquires WebAssign: Cengage, an educational content and technology company, has acquired WebAssign, a provider of digital learning solutions for higher education. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The move “strengthens Cengage’s position as a market leader in science, technology and math offering three unique platforms for faculty and institutions,” Cengage said in a statement.

Cengage CEO Michael Hansen said the deal is “a logical next step as we aggressively invest in student-focused digital products and platforms. Adding WebAssign to our offerings will give our customers more choices of platforms.”

Zuoyebang Raises $60 Million: Chinese K-12 online education startup Zuoyebang has raised $60 million Series B funding in a round co-led by GGV Capital and Xianghe Capital, a venture capital founded by former Baidu executives, with participation of existing investors of Sequoia Capital and Legend Capital, according to press reports.

Beijing-based Zuoyebang is a mobile study platform that offers homework assistance for primary and secondary school students.

Kahoot! Raises $10 Million: Game-based learning platform Kahoot! has raised $10 million in a funding round led by led by Fredrik Cassel at Creandum, current investor Tellef Thorleifsson at Northzone and Nagraj Kashyap at Microsoft Ventures, according to a blog post on medium.com by company co-founder Johan Brand.

“The latest round of funding will support the development of additional game formats, our global team, and new applications for brands, publishers, and audiences in the Kahoot! game space,” Brand wrote.

KidPass Raises $1.2 Million: KidPass, a subscription-based activities service, has closed a $1.2 million seed funding round; investors included Kevin Ryan (co-founder of DoubleClick, Business Insider, Gilt, and others); CoVenture; TIA Ventures, Bionic Fund/David Kidder; and other investors.

KidPass offers a network of kids’ classes in New York City and “enables users to discover thousands of activities for kids of all ages and instantly book a class online or via the mobile app,” according to the company.

Be sure to check back on Marketplace K-12 for updates on mergers, acquisitions, fundraising, and other dealmaking. Also see EdWeek Market Brief, a service that gives companies operating in the market insights on the needs and priorities of school officials.

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