K-12 Dealmaking: Pearson Acquires Credentialing Platform in $200M Deal; PowerSchool Buys Communications Platform

Staff Writer
K-12 Dealmaking, Blackbaud Acquires Everfi

Education giant Pearson has acquired the digital workforce credentialing platform, Credly, for $200 million.

The merger will expand Pearson’s growing new workforce skills division — a smaller part of the company’s portfolio compared to higher education and virtual K-12 learning.

Credly, which  provides a platform for organizations, companies and educational institutions to award employees or students credentials, will add a credentialing service to Pearson’s existing workforce learning and assessment offerings.

“The growing skills gap is putting enormous pressure on the labor market, making verified credentials more essential than ever before,” said Pearson CEO Andy Bird in a statement.

The acquisition enables Pearson to, “work with employers and employees to identify skills needs, provide learning to address those needs, and offer trusted credentialing to prove proficiency,” he said.

Credly has issued 50 million credentials and serves more than 2,000 organizations. Pearson originally invested in the Credly in 2018, and had a nearly 20 percent stake prior to the acquisition.

This new merger comes months after Pearson acquired Faethm, an Australian workforce artificial intelligence and predictive analytics start-up, with the goal of using the new capabilities to help governments and companies better understand the forces shaping the labor market.

“Together [Faethm and Credly] will help employers understand labor market dynamics while helping workers gain the skills they need to navigate this economy,” said Pearson spokesperson Joe Wiggins in an email.

PowerSchool acquires K-12 engagement solution. Education software giant PowerSchool has acquired Kinvolved, a K-12 communication engine provider.

The aim is to simplify communication between schools and families using PowerSchool’s student information system by further integrating Kinvolved’s communications, attendance, and engagement tools, the company said in an announcement. The broader goal is to increase engagement and reduce absenteeism.

“Collaboration between teachers, parents, and students is one of the most important aspects of an effective education, and we know it’s a top priority for our customers to have efficient, centralized notifications and communications integrated with PowerSchool,” said CEO Hardeep Gulati.

PowerSchool serves more than 45 million student globally through more than 13,000 customers. Kinvolved currently supports nearly 700,000 stakeholders across 16 states through it’s KiNVO software suite.

The companies will continue to operate separately until an official close is announced.

National workforce nonprofit acquires Educational Quality Outcomes Standards. Jobs for the Future, a national nonprofit focused on the American workforce and education, has acquired the nonprofit developer of an outcomes-based quality assurance framework for education, Educational Quality Outcomes Standards.

Educational Quality Outcomes Standards, launched in April 2020, provides a set of metrics that measure the efficacy and quality of education and training programs, based significantly on real-world outcomes of participants. The company’s goal was to help students and workers seeking training to better navigate the marketplace.

Jobs for the Future President and CEO Maria Flynn said in a statement that the merger will bring more transparency and support the organization’s focus on testing, designing, and evaluating new models of postsecondary education.

Moving forward, Educational Quality Outcomes Standards will operate as a wholly-owned nonprofit subsidiary of Jobs for the Future.

ThriveDX raises $100 million. ThriveDX, the digital skills and training provider former known as HackerU, has raised $100 million in funding in a round lead by Prytek.

The funding will be used to help the company continue to expand into U.S., European, and Asian markets with the goal of closing the global digital talent gap, according to the announcement.

ThriveDX, founded in 2006 in Israel, offers professional development programs in digital technology to academic institutions and corporations, a cyber training SaaS platform, and cyber and digital transformation consulting.

Prytek first invested in ThriveDx in 2018 with about $20 million in funding for a global expansion that included the U.S.

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