K-12 Dealmaking: IXL Learning Makes Acquisition; Brightwheel Raises $21 Million

In recent dealmaking news, personalized learning platform IXL Learning has acquired educational games provider ABCya, and early education software provider Brightwheel has raised $21 million to expand its platform.

IXL Learning Acquires ABCya: IXL Learning, a K-12 personalized learning platform, has acquired ABCya, provider of educational computer games and apps for kids, the companies announced in a statement.

“Together, we will provide an enriching learning experience through IXL’s unique approach to personalized learning and ABCya’s dynamic educational games,” said Paul Mishkin, CEO of California-based IXL Learning.

IXL Learning’s main product is a website that offers educational practice for K-12 students in math, science, English language arts, social studies and Spanish. The company also offers analytics to track student and classroom performance, and identify areas for improvement in each student.

ABCya provides educational games and activities for pre-kindergarten to fifth grade. Their games are also designed to meet the Common Core State Standards.

Currently, IXL is used by 7 million U.S. students, while ABCya has reached more than 120 million learners who have played more than 1.5 billion games. 

Brightwheel Raises $21 Million: Early education software provider Brightwheel has raised $21 million in Series B funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners, according to a statement. Other investors included Omidyar Network, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Eniac Ventures, GGV Capital, Golden Venture Partners and Lowercase Capital.

The San Francisco-based company is an all-in-one platform for preschools, childcare providers, camps and afterschool programs, providing all the systems required to run a school and business. Dave Vasen, founder and CEO of Brightwheel, said his organization now works with more than 25,000 schools.

The investment will go toward expanding the Brightwheel platform, accelerating product development and creating new features. It will also be used to hire for their San Francisco and Denver offices, according to the statement.

Imbellus Raises $14.5 Million: After a Series A financing round, Imbellus, a developer of simulation-based assessment technology, has raised $14.5 million, bringing the company’s total funding to $23 million, according to a statement. The funding was led by Owl Ventures, with prior investors Upfront Ventures, Thrive Capital and Rethink Education.

Imbellus, which launched in 2016, doesn’t assess content knowledge, instead their simulation-based assessments are designed to quantify the sort of skills that differentiate human intelligence from machine intelligence, like critical thinking, decision-making, and metacognition.

“This work has implications for the future of the K-12 system,” said Ashley Bittner of Owl Ventures. “It’s about enabling an educational paradigm focused on skills like problem-solving, systems thinking and creativity.”

Preply Expands to Spain: The online language learning platform Preply announced they’re opening a new office in Barcelona in early 2019, after raising $4 million in a seed funding round in July, according to a Forbes article.

The Ukrainian company matches students with tutors through a ranking algorithm that uses machine learning for classification and recommendation of tutors. Their most popular languages are English, German, Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Arabic and Italian, among others.

The company, which is headquartered in Massachusetts, also aims to expand into the German, British, American and Latin American markets.

GuruQ raises $300,000: The Delhi-based ed-tech startup GuruQ has secured $300,000 in a round of funding from a group of high net worth individuals. The company will use the funding for expanding its operations in other regions in India.

Founded in 2016, GuruQ provides online and offline tutoring that adheres to global quality standards. Recently, the company has upgraded its platform to ease the tutor-finding process, as well as adding a feature that gives students the option to book a class instantly.

“We will continue to innovate not just how our students access their tutors but also how they assimilate the learning,” said Minal Anand, CEO and founder of GuruQ, in a statement. “Our focus will always be to assure our students get the highest quality, along with reliability and accountability.”

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