K-12 Dealmaking: Illuminate Education, Thinkful Make Acquisitions; Digital House Raises $20M

Contributing Writer

In this week’s dealmaking news, Illuminate Education acquired eduCLIMBER, a data system for educators, and Thinkful, a provider of one-on-one web development and data science courses, acquired Viking Code School and The Odin Project.

Also, Digital House, a provider of technology classes for the Latin American market, raised $20 million from The Rise Fund.

Illuminate Education Acquires eduCLIMBER Illuminate Education, an Irvine, Calif.-based educational intelligence solutions provider, has acquired eduCLIMBER, a data system for educators, according to a statement. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition will “add eduCLIMBER’s data capabilities, which focus on the visualization of both academic and behavioral data, to Illuminate Education’s established Education Intelligence Platform.” Illuminate Education said. It added that “the companies’ aligned missions and complementary technologies will allow them to provide increasingly more useful and user-friendly data to K-12 districts through a strengthened set of product offerings.”

“Illuminate Education and eduCLIMBER’s shared focus on utilizing data to improve student outcomes makes this combination powerful,” said Max Carnecchia, CEO of Illuminate Education.

“This is a true partnership of two companies who are passionate about helping educators with their data,” said Matt Harris, co-founder of Evansville, Wis.-based eduCLIMBER. The companies will give educators “a single system to aggregate and visualize their student data, which then enables them to identify strategies for improving student outcomes.”

Thinkful Acquires Viking Code School and The Odin Project: Thinkful, a provider of web development and data sciences courses, has acquired Viking Code School and The Odin Project, Thinkful said in a blog post. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“The investment will advance the company’s mission to provide access to high growth tech careers and deliver top talent to its employer network,” the company noted in the post.

Thinkful provides 1-on-1 learning through its network of industry experts, hiring partners, and an online platform.

Viking Code School provides online training to developers and software engineers. The Odin Project is a open source platform with over 80,000 community members worldwide, according to the blog.

iContracts Acquires Educadium: Portland, Ore.-based Educadium has sold its EasyCampus learning management platform to iContracts, a compliance and contract management systems company based in New Jersey, according to a statement.

“We’re pleased to offer our EasyCampus customers and trainers a suite of new products and services that will complement our world-class learning platform,” said Educadium president Todd Harris. “iContracts will continue to deliver the superb support that our customers have come to expect.”

Educadium has provided learning management system (LMS) hosting and self-paced course development services to nonprofit organizations, educators, government agencies, and corporate trainers around the world, according to the company.

“iContracts’ acquisition of EasyCampus opens a world of opportunities for our nearly 2,000 combined customer sites, as well adding an important building block to our growing compliance platform,” said iContracts CEO Leigh Powell. “We look forward to quickly integrating operations and investing to deliver a truly differentiated solution.”

Digital House Raises $20 Million From The Rise Fund: Argentina-based Digital House, an education company that offers intensive technology courses and executive programs to the Latin American market, has raised $20 million in a funding round led by The Rise Fund.

Endeavor Catalyst and Omidyar Network also joined with The Rise Fund and existing investors supporting the funding round. Other investors in Digital House include Latin American entrepreneurs and venture capitalists: Kaszek Ventures; Marcos Galperin, founder and CEO of MercadoLibre; and Martin Migoya, Co-Founder and CEO of Globant.

Digital House was co-founded by a pair of entrepreneurs, Eduardo Bruchou and Nelson Duboscq, who previously founded HSM (now WOBI), which was sold to Laureate in 2012. The company offers technical coding and a variety of other courses to equip students at all levels to build careers in software development, data science, artificial intelligence and analytics, and digital marketing. Graduates of the program have gone on to work at notable technology companies.

“We chose The Rise Fund because of their commitment to education and their business building capabilities, which can help us scale internationally,” said Duboscq, co-founder and CEO of Digital House. “In addition to growing our campuses in Argentina, we look forward to launching in Brazil and Mexico in the next year.”

The Rise Fund, which noted this investment is its first in Latin America, is a $2 billion social impact fund launched by TPG Growth, the middle market and growth equity fund of global alternative asset firm TPG.

Bill McGlashan, founder and managing partner of TPG Growth and co-rounder and CEO of The Rise Fund, said Digital House is “a great example of the type of innovative, impact-driven businesses we’re looking to partner with,” and that his fund will continue to to identify great opportunities like this in Latin America and around the world.”

Additional investments in the education sector by The Rise Fund include EverFi, a provider of subscription-based digital learning to K-12 schools, universities, corporations, sports teams, and NGOs, and The Lead School, a school management service in India that focuses on making education accessible and affordable to children in underserved communities.

The Rise Fund’s investments in education are supported by its sector team, which includes former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Rick Levin, who was formerly the CEO of Coursera and president of Yale University.

Village Capital Unveils Top Ventures: India-based education startups Logic Roots and Project Mudra were peer-selected as the top ventures of Village Capital Education: India 2017, according to a statement.

Logic Roots designs social math games for K-5 students. Project Mudra provides hardware for visually impaired students. As the peer-selected winners of Education: India 2017, both companies will receive investment offers of $50,000 each from Village Capital.

The two companies were part of a cohort of 13 Indian education startups, which were selected from among 120 applicants focused on solving problems in K-12 education. The three-month program was run by Village Capital, a leading global venture capital firm, and funded by philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network.

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

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