K-12 Dealmaking: Renaissance Snaps Up Schoolzilla

Managing Editor

In recent dealmaking news, the major assessment and analytics provider Renaissance has taken a big step in trying to up its production of data-based information for school districts by acquiring Schoolzilla, a company focused on data reporting, warehousing and analytics. In addition, the childcare-focused company Winnie has raised $9 million in Series A funding.

Renaissance Acquires Schoolzilla. Renaissance, which has made a series of acquisitions in the K-12 arena over the past few years, has added another one, taking up Schoolzilla, a company that creates dashboards for helping K-12 districts collect and analyze data.

In a statement, the two organizations said the pairing will add “rich student learning data” from Renaissance’s assessment, literacy, and math programs to Schoolzilla’s platform, giving school and district leaders new insights and the ability to track trends in student attendance, achievement, and other areas.

“One of our driving beliefs is that students learn better when administrators and teachers have the full picture of learning,” Todd Brekhus, chief product officer at Renaissance, said in a statement. “Schoolzilla’s ability to aggregate data streams from multiple sources is a perfect fit with our open, interconnected approach to education.”

Renaissance is already integrating one of its most recognizable tools, the Star assessments, with Schoolzilla’s dashboards, Brekhus said. The acquisition will allow Renaissance “to further enhance our ability to give education leaders unparalleled insights into progress and performance at the individual, school, and district levels.”

Schoolzilla began as an initiative within Aspire Public Schools, a nationwide charter school network. It later became an independent organization focused on serving schools around the country; it says it works with more than 140 school districts.

Renaissance is one of the biggest and most recognizable names in K-12 education. It provides classroom assessments and analytics and estimates that its products are used in more than one-third of U.S. schools, in addition to 90 countries. It has also been an active acquirer of companies in recent years, having purchased players working in different areas of the K-12 market, including Freckle, Early Learning Labs, and Accelerated Reader.

See EdWeek Market Brief Managing Editor’s recent Q-and-A with Renaissance chief product officer, Brekhus, about what his views on the keys to acquisitions in the K-12 space, and making them work for both parties.

Winnie Raises $9 Million. Winnie, an online platform that helps parents search for childcare, has raised $9 million in Series A funding.

Based in San Francisco, Winnie was founded by two women who were both pregnant at the time they did their initial fundraising. The company uses an app to deliver information related to childcare and early education, including costs, the licensing status of the provider, and parent reviews.

The funding round was led by Rethink Impact, and Reach CapitalImpact America FundUnusual VenturesLudlow VenturesAfore CapitalDay One VenturesKairos, and April UnderwoodSlack’s former chief product officer, took part, Winnie officials said in a post on their website. Winnie has now raised a total of $15.5 million, according to Crunchbase.

“This round of funding will allow us to help more families, more childcare providers, and more early educators across the country,” Winnie co-founders Sara Mauskopf and Anne Halsall, wrote in a post on their site.

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