One of the largest digital curriculum providers in the U.S., Imagine Learning, will add coding and robotics to its offerings, marking the company’s latest expansion into STEM.
Imagine Learning, formerly known as Weld North Education, has acquired the Irish company Robotify, a digital curriculum startup focused on teaching coding through virtual robotics simulations. The merger adds an elective curriculum and “gamified” science content to Imagine Learning.
CEO Jonathan Grayer said he was interested in adding a virtual robotics option because in-person programs often are expensive, requiring specialized teachers and equipment. That means many schools aren’t able to provide it for their students, Grayer said.
“It’s really exciting because it gives a new kind of literacy to kids who are interested in it at a much lower financial hurdle,” Grayer said in an interview. “It’s democratizing education the way only digital curriculum can.”
Robotify, based in Dublin, offers 800 different coding activities and games, according to the acquisition announcement.
Imagine Learning plans to develop a virtual gaming environment so students can compete in different robotics competitions, sanctioned by the company, Grayer said.
This is the first acquisition since Weld North rebranded to use the name of its most well-known product, which started as a digital supplemental literacy curriculum provider.
And it comes about four months after the company acquired the U.K.-based digital science program Twig Education — a move that added science products to the company’s portfolio.
Grayer said the company will continue to look for ways to expand its curriculum offerings, especially in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) areas.
“We’re interested in all aspects of STEM curriculum and instruction, but we’re focused of course on those parts that adapt well to digital instruction,” Grayer said.
The Rise Fund will retain a significant minority stake and continue to be represented on the company’s board, according to the announcement.
The deal comes after DreamBox acquired Reading Plus in July, adding the adaptive literacy program to its existing digital K-8 math program.
The company is on track to grow nearly 40% and reach $100 million in revenue over the last year. DreamBox services around 6 million students and 400,000 educators, according to the company.
Teachmint is a 16-month-old startup and the creator of India’s largest teaching platform, according to the announcement. The new funding will be used to “further strengthen its proprietary classroom technology” and expansion into international markets.
The startup currently serves more than 10 million users in India with a goal of growing to more than 100 million users globally.
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