K-12 Dealmaking: Pearson Acquires Australian AI Company; Panorama Raises $60 Million

Staff Writer

Education giant Pearson is acquiring workforce artificial intelligence and predictive analytics start-up, Faethm.

The Australian company will become part of Pearson’s new workforce skills division, which aims to help learners meet rapidly changing workforce needs and bridge the global skills gap.

Pearson plans to use the new capabilities to help governments and companies better understand the forces shaping the labor market, including technological disruptions, COVID, and climate change, according to the announcement.

“Together, Faethm’s analytics capabilities and Pearson’s learning products will help companies of all sizes understand what skills they need and how to develop them,” Michael Howells, the division president, said in a statement.

Faethm, which launched less than four years ago, serves customers in 21 industries across 26 countries, according to the company. Its founders will join the workforce skills leadership team at Pearson.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Curriculum provider acquires interactive tools company. Ed-tech provider Capstone announced it acquired Buncee, a communication and collaboration tool for students and educators.

The acquisition will allow teachers to access creative digital tools that track students’ knowledge and review their growth, the companies said in a release. Buncee’s interactive tools allow students to demonstrate what they’ve learned and share creations with classmates, teachers, and family members.

“Adding Buncee to our portfolio reinforces Capstone’s unwavering commitment to meeting the needs of educators and young learners,” said Capstone President Scott Sustacek in a statement.

Currently about 40 percent of U.S. elementary schools use PebbleGo, a digital resource for early literacy and research, in grades K-2, Sustacek said. The company will be releasing an updated version, PebbleGo-plus-Buncee, in early 2022.

Buncee customers will not experience a change.

Education software platform raises $60 million. Panorama Education, a K-12 education software platform, raised $60 million in a Series C round of funding.

The round was led by growth equity firm General Atlantic and also included existing investors Owl Ventures, Emerson Collective, Uncork Capital, and Tao Capital Partners.

The money will be used for continued product development, to “further deepen” district partnerships and recruit talent, according to Panorama Education.

The company, founded in 2012, aims to improve education for every student by helping teachers understand students’ academic and social-emotional strengths, and help identify those in need of additional support. Executives report serving 13 million students in more than 1,500 school districts, including 50 of the largest 100 districts in the country.

“We’re building Panorama’s technology platform to be the core system helping educators drive student success and advance social-emotional learning,” co-founder and CEO Aaron Feuer said in a statement.

Company aimed at supporting international higher education raises $55 million. The education company behind LeapFinance and LeapScholar, Leap, raised $55 million in a Series C round of funding led by Owl Ventures.

Other participants include Harvard Management Company and returning investors Jungle Ventures and Sequoia Capital India.

The company is building an infrastructure that enables students to pursue international higher education, according to the announcement.

Its products help students with everything from international test prep to international student bank accounts to career guidance. Leap reports helping more than 60,000 students with study abroad over the last 18 months.

“We have seen an unprecedented demand from students to move abroad this year as international borders open post-Covid,” co-founder Vaibhav Singh said in a statement. The company expects 1 million students from the South Asia region to move abroad in the next year.

This comes less than six months after Leap’s Series B round of funding, which was lead by Jungle Ventures. In total, the startup has raised over $75 million.

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