K-12 Dealmaking: Kide Science Acquired; PowerSchool Completes $300M Purchase of SchoolMessenger

Staff Writer
K-12 dealmaking

Helsinki-based Kide Science was acquired by Accelerate Learning in an effort to expand the latter company’s early childhood offerings and boost its international reach.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Kide Science will remain based in Helsinki, founder and CEO Sari Hurme-Mehtälä said in a post on LinkedIn announcing the deal. Accelerate Learning is a provider of STEM curriculum materials, based in Houston.

Founded in 2017, Kide offers a platform of play- and story-based lessons for children between the ages 3-8, along with professional development for educators. Lessons include video instructions, printouts, assessment tools, and tips to adjust the lessons for children of varying ages and skill levels.  The company reports having about 1 million student users in 32 countries.

“Kide Science is tested with real kids in real classrooms, and the lessons can complement any curriculum, which makes it easy for teachers and schools to implement,” Hurme-Mehtälä, said in a statement. “We’re excited to join Accelerate Learning in setting students on a successful STEM path and creating the next generation of critical thinkers and problem solvers.”

Accelerate Learning, which was founded in 2013, says it has roughly 9 million student users for its digital-first STEM offerings, which include STEMscopes, Collaborate Science, and Math Nation instructional resources.

Accelerate’s acquisition of Kide comes seven months after Accelerate was acquired by Rhode Island-based private equity firm Providence Equity Partners. Previous investors in Accelerate, including Carlyle, Quad Partners, Rice University, and Owl Ventures, retained minority stakes in the company.

Adding Kide Science to Accelerate’s existing suite of STEM products will help boost the company’s ability to reach students in pre-K, as well as build its presence globally, it said.

“Young children have an innate sense of curiosity about the world, which makes the early years an ideal time to explore the wonders of STEM,” Accelerate President and CEO Philip Galati said in a statement. “With Kide Science, teachers have research-backed lessons that tap into children’s drive to play, investigate, and discover so they can be successful in STEM from the start.

Concentric Education Raises $5M. Baltimore-based Concentric Education, which offers student and family support services to K-12 districts, raised $5 million in Series A funding from New Markets Venture Partners.

Concentric said it plans to use the capital from Maryland-based New Markets to hire additional staff and further build out its suite of services, which is focused on helping improve student attendance and cultivate relationships with students’ families.

“The financing from New Markets Venture Partners will broaden the reach of our work including home visits, tutoring, and mentoring programs, along with coaching for teachers and staff and mental health support services to address the whole child,” David Heiber, CEO of Concentric Educational Solutions, said in a statement.

The organization’s aim is to “ensure that students not only attend school regularly but also feel a sense of belonging and thrive academically, regardless of the barriers they may face,” he added.

Concentric said it has partnered with more than 200 schools, including Baltimore City Public Schools, and Anne Arundel County Public Schools.

“Concentric Educational Solutions’ mission aligns perfectly with New Markets Venture Partners and we are excited to be working with David and his expanded leadership team so that they can scale their proven interventions and improve student outcomes,” Mark Grovic, co-founder and general partner of New Markets Venture Partners, said in a statement.

PowerSchool Completes $300M Acquisition of SchoolMessenger. PowerSchool’s deal to acquire SchoolMessenger, a communications and operations platform for K-12 districts, is complete.

PowerSchool, one the largest providers of student information systems in the country, first announced plans to buy SchoolMessenger for $300 million in July.

The acquisition is aimed at expanding My PowerSchool, the company said, and adding SchoolMessenger’s communication capabilities into the platform will help it increase its focus on family engagement and student support.

“Through our support of over 50 million students globally, we observe firsthand how critical communication with parents, families, and caretakers is in a child’s education,” Hardeep Gulati, PowerSchool CEO, said in a statement. “We believe integrating SchoolMessenger into My PowerSchool and PowerSchool’s portfolio will further demonstrate our commitment to providing a connected, centralized experience for educators, students, and families to improve student outcomes.

SchoolMessenger reports serving more than 63,000 schools and enables districts to communicate through voice, text, email, and social media in more than 100 languages.

Follow EdWeek Market Brief on Twitter @EdMarketBrief or connect with us on LinkedIn.

Image by Getty.

See also: