K-12 Dealmaking: Hero K12 Unveils Investment Plans, and Smart Sparrow Raises $4 Million

Contributing Writer

In the latest dealmaking news, student behavior management application Hero K12 announced plans to invest and acquire ed-tech companies. Also, digital provider Smart Sparrow raised $4 million.

Hero K12 to Acquire Ed-Tech Companies: Student behavior management application Hero K12 said it is launching a new growth initiative of investments, acquisitions, and integrations of early and mid-stage education technology companies, according to a statement from the company.

In addition, a former Pearson official, Oliver Wreford, has joined the Hero K12 leadership team as chief product and strategy officer to drive Hero’s acquisition and investment efforts.

Wreford joins Hero K12 from PowerSchool where he developed PowerSchool’s ISV partner program and helped to orchestrate PowerSchool’s $350 million sale by Pearson to Vista Equity Partners. He help orchestrate seven recent merger and acquisition deals with PowerSchool over the last 18 months.

“Hero K12 users tell us that having an integrated solution will help them connect with all education stakeholders to foster a collaborative effort around better behavior and safer schools,” said Mark MacDonald, CEO of Hero K12. “Oliver will help us bring together like-minded companies and grow this community-minded effort of connecting educators, parents, and students to the same goal,” said MacDonald.

Hero is a schoolwide system to capture and collect data, and then use the data to allow schools to replace traditional discipline policies with initiatives that emphasize and recognize positive behaviors.

Smart Sparrow Raises $4 Million: Instructional design and adaptive learning company Smart Sparrow has raised $4 million in new funding to support the expansion of platform, the company said in a statement.

This funding round adds Moelis Australia Asset Management, part of Moelis Australia and the NYSE-listed Moelis & Company, as a significant investor in the deal structured by returning investor OneVentures. Uniseed also participated as a returning investor.

Smart Sparrow, which is used by universities and organizations, is designed to enable instructors to create their own course content, incorporating simulations and adaptive tutorials to ensure maximum student engagement.

The platform has also received grants from both NASA and the Department of Defense, which are using the platform to develop courses that provide students with hands-on learning experiences in fields such as medicine, science, and social and emotional learning.

Bomberbot Completes Funding Round: Bomberbot, a coding platform for children based in the Netherlands and Finland, raised nearly $800,000—750,000 EUR –in a second funding round led by Dutch investment fund Social Impact Ventures, according to a statement from the fund.

Bomberbot has secured about $1.28 million in investment (1.2 million EUR) with this funding round and will use Social IV’s investment for product development and expansion of the company, according to the fund.

“We are excited about the increasing number of active users and we aim to use this new financing in a way that allows us to continue offering a high-quality educational tool for teachers to bring programming into their schools and maintaining the current level of excellent customer experience of our users,” Bomberbot said in a blog posting on its website.

With Bomberbot, “children can develop basic programming and computational thinking skills, which will help them to better understand the impact of technology in the world around them,” according to the statement.

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


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