K-12 Dealmaking: ETS to Acquire Questar; Hobsons Snaps Up Counseling-Admissions Company

Contributing Writer

ETS announced plans to acquire K-12 assessment solutions provider Questar Assessment. In the Indian market, Cuemath raised $15 million from investors including CapitalG, the investment arm of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

ETS to Acquire Questar Assessment: The Educational Testing Service  has agreed to acquire Questar Assessment Inc., a K–12 testing organization, according to a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

As a result of the acquisition, Questar will become a separate, for-profit subsidiary of ETS. Questar supplies states with summative assessments for grades 3-8, end-of-course tests and alternative assessments for students with disabilities.

“The acquisition allows both organizations to gain capacity, improve capability, and acquire additional operating resources to better serve clients in the dynamic K–12 marketplace,” ETS said in a statement, noting that current clients of both companies will continue to be “seamlessly served.”

Cuemath Raises $15 Million: India-based math-learning startup Cuemath has raised funds in a round led by CapitalG with participation from Sequoia India, according to a blog posting on Cuemath’s website.

The total amount raised is $15 million, according to several press reports. CapitalG, formerly known as Google Capital, is the growth equity investment fund of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

“The funds raised will be utilized towards making the learning system more powerful and expanding to more cities across the country,” Cuemath said in the blog.

Cuemath, is an afterschool math program for children K-8 that is also offered through home-based centers. The company raised its Series A round of funding from Sequoia India in February 2015, the company said in the blog; a seed round of funding was held in 2014 by Unitus Seed Fund and Alok Mittal, an early-stage investor.

Hobsons Acquires RepVisits: Hobsons, a company that seeks to promote college and career readiness, enrollment management and student success solutions, has acquired RepVisits, a service that that connects high school counselors with college admissions representatives, according to a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

RepVisits will continue to be accessed at Repvisits.com for the next few months, Hobsons said in the statement. Later this year, it will be integrated into Hobsons’ college and career readiness platform Naviance, and will be available to Naviance users at no additional cost.

PowerSchool Completes Acquisition of SunGard K-12: PowerSchool has completed its acquisition of the SunGard K-12 business from financial services technology company FIS, according to a statement. The Folsom, Calif.-based K-12 ed-tech solutions company announced acquisition plans in December.

“Through this acquisition, PowerSchool will provide significant value to the K-12 education community by combining cloud-based school finance, HR, and payroll solutions with the industry’s leading student information system and the Unified Classroom,” PowerSchool said.

PenPal Schools Raises $1.25 Million: PenPal Schools, an Austin, Texas-based company that connects over 100,000 students in 170 countries, has raised $1.25 million from a group of investors based in the U.S., Mexico, Jordan, Iran and Hong Kong, according to a blog post on the company’s website.

“Some are large venture capital firms, others are angel investors writing their first check,” company founder Joe Troyen wrote. “One owns an NBA team, one is a famous actress, and a few are former teachers. But they all share a commitment to support our common mission of providing fantastic learning opportunities for students around the world.”

PenPals Schools aims to enable students to “collaborate through high-quality online courses to learn about cultures and global challenges while practicing language and technology skills,” according to the company.

PowerMyLearning Receives $6.5 Million in Grant Funding: PowerMyLearning, a national K-12 nonprofit, has received a combined $6.5 million in grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ($4.5 million), Oak Foundation ($1 million), and Carnegie Corporation of New York ($1 million), according to a statement from the organization.

The combined funding will support the creation of tools and programs that support personalized learning, PowerMyLearning noted in the statement.

Chinese Education App Xuebanjun Raises $100 Million: Xuebajun, an education mobile app allowing students to upload questions and get answers from both its robots and online teachers, has raised $100 million in series C round led by China Merchants Capital and EasyCapital, according to China Money Network; Wanxin Media and existing investors Qiming Venture Partners, Trustbridge Partners, and Vertex Ventures also participated.

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

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