K-12 Dealmaking: Khan Academy Acquires App Developer; GradeSlam Raises $1.6 Million

Contributing Writer

In this week’s dealmaking news, early childhood education app donated itself to Khan Academy, and Canadian online tutoring platform GradeSlam raised $1.6 million from investors.

Khan Academy Acquires Duck Duck Moose: Nonprofit educational content provider Khan Academy has acquired Duck Duck Moose, a developer of educational apps for preschool children, according to a statement from Khan Academy. Duck Duck Moose is donating its 21 early learning apps to the online provider.

“Preschool learning is a natural next step for Khan Academy and fits perfectly into our mission to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere,” said Khan Academy founder Sal Kahn in the statement.

In an interview with Fortune magazine, Khan said his company “technically bought [Duck Duck Moose] for $1, and we immediately went into fundraising mode to figure out how to also bring the team. Omidyar Network stepped up.”

Khan Academy explained in a blog post that the donation is possible “thanks to philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network, the first underwriter of this new initiative.” Omidyar has provided a $3 million grant to the effort.

GradeSlam Raises $1.6 Million: Montreal-based online tutoring provider GradeSlam has raised $1.6 million in a funding round led by Pittsburgh- San Francisco-based Birchmere Ventures, according to a blog post on GradeSlam’s website.

Others participating in the financing include BDC Capital (Toronto), Anges Quebec (Montreal), Real Ventures (Montreal), angel investors Brian Karol and Robert Luxenberg, as well as GradeSlam Founder and CEO Philip Cutler.

GradeSlam said it “will be using this funding to continue growing its impressive list of innovative schools and districts using its service for all their students,” according to the blog.

WebAssign, Knewton Form Partnership: WebAssign, provider of digital instructional solutions for faculty and students, has formed an alliance with adaptive learning company Knewton, according to a statement.

“We’re excited to be working with Knewton to integrate their adaptive learning technology into WebAssign,” said Mark Santee, vice president of business development and marketing at WebAssign.

“By using actual student performance data to empower our faculty adopters to deliver a more individualized learning experience to each student, we expect to make WebAssign an even more engaging and rewarding educational experience.”

Inspired Acquires International School of Europe Group: H.I.G. Europe, the European arm of global private equity firm H.I.G. Capital, has agreed to sell its International School of Europe Group to Inspired, a premium schools organization backed by education investment firm Educas. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ISE, founded in 1958 by the Formiga family, is a group of schools in Italy with over 1,800 local and expatriate students between the ages of 3 and 18 years old in Milan, Modena, Monza and Siena.

iAugmentor Raises $149,000: India-based ed-tech company iAugmentor Labs Pvt. Ltd. has raised $149,000 in seed funding from Rajasthan Angel Investor Network and other undisclosed investors, according to press reports.

The Gurugram-based startup describes itself as a technology-enabled assessment and learning platform that aims to offer personalized, adaptive and experiential learning.

Be sure to check back on Marketplace K-12 for updates on mergers, acquisitions, fundraising, and other dealmaking. Also see EdWeek Market Brief, a service that gives companies operating in the market insights on the needs and priorities of school officials.

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