K-12 Dealmaking: Private Equity Firm Scoops Up Provider of Special Needs Software

Staff Writer
K-12 dealmaking

Dallas-based private equity firm Craftsman Capital has acquired MSB School Services, a tech company focused on serving special needs populations. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal will bring MSB School’s proprietary X-Labs software, used to track and log special education sessions, under Craftsman’s umbrella.

MSB, based in Cedar Park, Texas, has “carved out its place as a market leader based on its powerful software, robust support, and informative consulting,” Craftsman Partner Will Walters said in a statement.

MSB School Services CEO Tabbatha Callaway said Craftsman will bring additional resources and capabilities to MSB that will help the company grow and expand.

“We are very excited for the future of MSB along with Craftsman Capital,” she said in a statement. “We are ready to turn the page on the past and open a new chapter in the growth and integrity of the business.”

Procurement company acquired. Ion Wave, which offers online procurement services to school districts, was acquired by GTY Technology Holdings, the companies announced.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal adds Ion Wave to GTY’s existing procurement products, including Bonfire, which GTY merged with DemandStar, another procurement platform, in December. GTY is backed by California-based private equity firm GI Partners, which took GTY private in April 2022.

It also marks GTY’s first entry into K-12 education administration software, as Ion Wave also offers SpedTrack, a software program designed to simplify management of special education needs.

“Ion Wave has exceptional solutions, a knowledgeable team, and they value customer relationships as much as we do,” TJ Parass, CEO of GTY Technology, said in a statement. The deal “both complements and enhances GTY’s platform of products for the public sector,” he added.

Darren Henderson, CEO of Ion Wave, said both companies “share a combined passion to empower the public sector workforce and bring positive outcomes for communities.”

Visitor management software acquired. Singlewire Software has acquired visitor and student management platform Visitor Aware.

The companies did not disclose terms of the sale.

Singlewire, based in Madison, Wisc., currently makes InformaCast, an emergency notification and incident management system. Adding Visitor Aware to its product line up will help the company expand its offerings in the visitor and student management space.

The deal stemmed from its clients’ request for those capabilities, said Paul Shain, CEO of Singleware Software, in a statement.

“It’s becoming more evident that school safety starts at the front door, so when our school customers started asking us for help with visitor check-in and student management, we went looking for a partner that could offer a solution that would exceed their expectations,” he said.

At the same time, Visitor Aware creator Bennett Stone said the deal will allow it to expand its software with InformaCast’s emergency notification features.

“We’re excited to join Singlewire so organizations can add InformaCast emergency notification to our Visitor Aware software extending the reach of critical messages to help create a safer and more responsive environment,” he said.

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