K-12 Dealmaking: Follett Buys ClassBook; Teachers-Teachers Merges With myEDmatch

Contributing Writer

Three deals that closed recently include an expansion into a private school market, a merger centered on addressing the teacher shortage, and a funding round that bolsters a company that matches international students with accommodations.

Here’s our roundup of dealmaking news in late February:

Follett Acquires ClassBook: The education materials and technology provider has acquired ClassBook, an online textbook retailer that serves schools, teachers, parents and students, for an undisclosed sum.

Based near Albany, N.Y., ClassBook provides private and parochial schools with 24/7 bookstores; it aims to streamline and personalize the ordering and fulfillment process for print and digital textbooks. ClassBook has been on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies every year since 2008, ranking 4,390th on the most recent 2015 list with sales of $13.9 million in 2014. The retailer was one of only three K-12 education companies that had eight consecutive annual appearances on the list in 2015.

Nader Qaimari, executive vice president of Follett Corporation and general manager of Follett School Solutions, said in a statement that “acquiring ClassBook allows us to provide a best-in-class solution for private and parochial schools, a market that is important to us and has unique needs.”

Teachers-Teachers Merges With myEDmatch: The two platforms combined earlier this month to provide “innovative teacher-focused solutions that help teachers and schools find their best fit jobs,” according to a statement. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Many districts and charters are thinking more strategically about teacher recruitment as the teacher shortage continues to make national news,” said Jason Froelich, CEO of Teachers-Teachers in the release. “Combining the matching technology of myEDmatch and our platform of educators creates an opportunity for us to better serve teachers and schools by providing a comprehensive set of tools to support the full job search, recruitment and placement continuum.”

Both myEDmatch and Teachers-Teachers are continuing to service customers through their existing websites where teachers can access nationwide jobs, identify their closest match to a school and complete the interviewing process, the companies said. The Teachers-Teachers platform has grown to more than one million teachers, with usage tripling in 2015, according to the company.

Student.com Raises $60 Million: The online accommodation marketplace for students studying abroad announced a $60 million investment led by global investment firm VY Capital, with participation from Horizons Ventures, Expa, Spotify founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon and Hugo Barra from Chinese electronics company Xiaomi.

The investment will fuel growth in new markets, with expansion planned across the U.S., Latin America and the Middle East in the coming months, according to a statement. Funding will also be used to grow the team and bolster technology across the platform.

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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