K-12 Dealmaking: Frontline Education Acquires Teachers-Teachers; Excelligence Acquires Frog Street Press

Contributing Writer

Software provider Frontline Edcuation made its sixth acquisition in 18 months, and the first of 2017, while Excelligence, a provider of educational tools and learning solutions, made its second acquisition in two months. In addition, the Jefferson Education Accelerator formed a partnership with math skills program Thinkster Math.

Frontline Acquires Teachers-Teachers: Frontline Education has acquired Teachers-Teachers, a national job search resource that connects educators with school systems, according to a statement from Frontline. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition is the sixth in 18 months for Malvern, Pa.-based Frontline Education. Its most recent previous acquisition was of eSPED.com, a provider of SaaS solutions for educators, administrators and parents of children with personalized educational needs, last December.

“The current education landscape and pervasive teacher shortage has increased districts’ need to recruit and retain educators using more efficient and proactive methods,” said Frontline Education CEO Tim Clifford in a statement. “This acquisition is timely, not just for the height of the educator recruiting season, but for the ongoing advancement of the Frontline Recruiting and Hiring Solution.”

The acquisition will “extend the resources and reach for Teachers-Teachers while enhancing the Frontline Recruiting and Hiring solution for educators and administrators through one-click application and targeted, proactive recruitment of millennial teachers – a historically difficult segment to attract,” Frontline noted.

Excelligence Learning Acquires Frog Street Press: Excelligence Learning Corporation, a provider of educational tools and solutions to early childhood and elementary school teachers and parents, has acquired Frog Street Press, Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Frog Street, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a provider of early childhood education solutions for public schools, Head Start programs and early child care centers.

Last month, Monterey, Calif.-based Excelligence acquired ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), a provider of online professional development and data systems for the early childcare and education market.

Frog Street CEO Ron Chase, who will continue to lead the business going forward, noted in a statement that “joining the Excelligence portfolio of companies provides Frog Street the opportunity to increase its market and customer awareness well beyond its core Texas geography. We believe the existing relationships that Discount School Supply and Really Good Stuff have with our target customers will allow us to reach significantly more of the early childhood programs that combine purchased curriculum with internally developed resources.”

Jefferson Education Accelerator Partners with Thinkster: The Jefferson Education Accelerator (JEA) has selected Thinkster Math, a tablet-based K-8 math skills development program, as its latest company partner, according to a statement.

Under the terms of the partnership, JEA will make an equity investment in the company and will conduct research on the impact of Thinkster Math’s tutoring and learning platform on student engagement and mathematics learning outcomes, JEA said.

JEA is focused on growth stage education companies and said it provides expertise and investment capital to education companies that have “demonstrated strong evidence of success, and the potential to contribute to the field through research and evaluation conducted by leading education researchers and practitioners.”

Lumen Learning Raises $3.75 Million, Partners with Follett: Portland-based Lumen Learning, a provider of digital course materials, formed a partnership with education materials and technology company Follett, according to a statement.

Follett will offer Lumen Learning’s OER solutions to more than 1,200 colleges and universities where Follett manages course materials delivery, the companies noted.

In addition, Lumen raised $3.75 million in a Series A funding round, according to Crunchbase, citing press reports. Lumen noted that key investors joining Follett to fund a second round of financing include Portland Seed Fund and Seattle’s Alliance of Angels.

“With this investment, Lumen will accelerate the development of new course subjects and expand efficacy research to guide data-driven improvements to its learning materials, courseware platform, and open education practices,” Lumen said.

College Ave Student Loans Raises $30 Million: College Ave Student Loans, a student loan marketplace lender, has secured $30 million in funding. Fourth-round investors include new and existing participants, such as Comcast Ventures and Leading Edge Ventures. The company noted the round of funding was oversubscribed, with the initial target of $25 million.

The capital raised will fuel College Ave’s growth and enable expansion to meet the education financing needs of new market segments, according to a statement from the company.

Sesame Street Partners With WriteReader: Copenhagen-based WriteReader has partnered with Sesame Workshop to add Sesame Street characters to its collaborative literacy platform, which seeks to improve children’s reading and writing skills through storytelling, according to a statement.

The launch of Sesame Street characters on WriteReader is the first time WriteReader has made third-party content available on its platform, the companies noted.

New Profit Awards $1M Grants to Seven Organizations: Venture philanthropy organization New Profit has launched a Personalized Learning Initiative and selected seven organizations to receive unrestricted grants of $1 million each, according to a statement from New Profit.

The Personalized Learning Initiative is an effort to invest in “promising new approaches and technologies that can give students more agency in their own learning journey and provide teachers with tools to tailor classroom instruction to the unique needs of each student,” New Profit said. Click here to view a list of the seven grantees.

The initiative is supported by a collaboration between the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who have contributed $12 million over four years to the Personalized Learning Initiative.

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

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