K-12 Dealmaking: Class Acquires Blackboard Tool; Byju’s Great Learning Acquires PD provider

Staff Writer
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Class Technologies has acquired Anthology’s Blackboard Collaborate in a move aimed to strengthen the company’s synchronous learning offerings. 

Class, which launched in 2020, adds teaching and learning tools to the Zoom platform. The merger with the Blackboard virtual classroom tool will expand the company’s reach to serve more than 1,750 higher education, K-12, and corporate learning institutions globally, according to the announcement.

“Our vision is to change the way the world learns – both in education and the workforce,” said Class CEO and co-founder Michael Chasen, who also co-founded Blackboard in 1997. “Bringing together these two products and teams allows us to deliver the next generation virtual and hybrid learning environment.”

The merger will also allow Class to have “deep integration” with Blackboard’s flagship learning management system, Blackboard Learn Ultra, which will remain an Anthology product.

Anthology, a cloud technology provider of admissions and enrollment management and other higher education-focused products, acquired Blackboard in September 2021.

Selling Blackboard Collaborative will allow Anthology to deepen its focus and investment in the learning management tool, said Anthology CEO Jim Milton in a statement.

This acquisition comes more than a year after Class raised $12.25 million in a funding round that included Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, as well as Salesforce Ventures, Sound Ventures, and veteran talent executive Guy Oseary. In total, the company has raised over $58 million.

Byju’s-owned company acquires PD provider. Great Learning, a Byju’s group company, has acquired Singapore-based Northwest Executive Education.

The stock and cash deal is expected to expand Great Learning’s reach across the U.S., India, Europe, and Latin America, and is reported to be worth $100 million.

Northwest Executive Education, founded in 2015, offers executive education programs in disciplines including management, leadership, technology, and healthcare.

This acquisition is a continuation of India-based Byju’s buying spree. The company acquired Great Learning in 2021 to expand its offerings beyond K-12, and its estimated valuation has topped $20 billion, according to some reports.

Other acquisitions last year included digital reading platform Epic, coding platform Tynker, and interactive math tool GeoGebra.

Web3 education startup raises more than $3 million. Ed-tech startup STEMuli, which created an educational metaverse, raised $3.25 million in seed funding.

The round was co-led by Slauson & Co and Valor Ventures, with participation from Draper Associates.

The startup offers schools a 3D, game-based platform with which students can interact. The platform launched in 2016 at Dallas Hybrid Prep, the first hybrid school in the Dallas Independent School District.

The funding will be used to expand the minority- and woman-owned company’s reach nationwide to New York, California, Illinois, Washington, D.C., and Georgia, according to the announcement.

“Our vision is to improve learning outcomes by providing all students with an experience that rivals playing their favorite video game,” said CEO and Founder Taylor Shead in a statement. “The Metaverse consists of the STEMuli navigator, a GPS of learning that ensures every learner reaches their destination every time. Soon learning will be as reliable and ubiquitous as Google Maps.”

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Image by Getty.

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