K-12 Dealmaking: Private-Equity Firm Achieve Partners Launches $167M Fund; Scholastic Makes Acquisition

Staff Writer
K-12 dealmaking

Education-focused private equity fund Achieve Partners on this week formally launched its $167 million fund aimed at investing in ed-tech companies in K-12, higher education, and workforce development — but the capital is already being put to work.

Achieve said the fund has backed its acquisition of three organizations in the past 18 months: educational video content provider Boclips, health education platform Elentra, and MasteryPrep, which offers coaching for state college readiness exams.

Financial details of the deals were not disclosed.

Moving forward, Achieve said it’s looking to invest in companies that help aid in the digital transformation of school districts and academic institutions as they increasingly integrate technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality into the classroom.

The firm — founded in 2018 and based in New York City — also said it expects to turn to third-party academic research to measure the impact of its portfolio companies.

“The most effective education technology solutions are often those that don’t get as much fanfare. While they may not be flashy, tools that enable access to better instructional content, or allow schools to manage the learning experience in complex fields like healthcare, play a foundational role in improving outcomes for students,” Achieve Managing Director Troy Williams said in a statement. Williams is a former senior executive at Macmillan Education who also leads University Ventures’ ed-tech investments.

“This is about investing in the fast-growing platforms that will power the shift to a more digitally enabled education landscape, one with the potential to better meet the needs of learners at every stage of their educational journey,” Williams added.

Scholastic expands in summer learning. Scholastic Corp. acquired the rights to two summer learning programs, LitCamp and MathCamp, in an effort to further expand its Pre-K-8 literacy and math portfolio.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

LitCamp is a foundational reading skills program aimed at summer and extended learning that was created by Pam Allyn, a Scholastic professional author and advisor. Scholastic bought the rights from the professional development company Allyn founded, LitLife, Inc.

Along with LitCamp, Scholastic also acquired MathCamp, a math-focused companion program for LitCamp, from a company co-founded by Allyn, Dewey, Inc. Dewey offers parents and educators an online learning platform, take-home games, and professional coaching.

The rights acquisition will allow Scholastic to incorporate LitCamp and MathCamp into its existing summer learning programs and products, including Scholar Zone Summer, My Books Summer, and Summer Express.

“During the summer months, Scholastic provides educators and families with the support they need to keep students engaged in learning, starting with access to books and the instructional resources needed to sharpen reading and math skills and build student confidence,” Amanda Alexander, chief academic officer at Scholastic Education Solutions, said in a statement.

Science equipment provider acquired. Flinn Scientific acquired Educational Innovations, the company behind the website TeacherSource.com. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Flinn said that the deal will bolster its existing offerings in science education, as the Illinois-based company currently provides science and lab products for K-12 districts.

Educational Innovations, based in Connecticut, offers science supplies for teachers and parents online.

“Joining forces with Flinn Scientific is an exciting opportunity to expand our reach and impact in the education sector,” Educational Innovations President and CEO Tami O’Connor said in a statement.

Acquiring Educational Innovations marks a benchmark in Flinn’s “continuing journey to support educators and promote hands-on learning experiences,” President and CEO Michael Lavelle said. “This strategic acquisition amplifies our commitment to offering comprehensive and innovative resources that enrich science education for students.”

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Image by Getty.

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