K-12 Dealmaking: Silverback Learning, AcademixDirect Make Acquisitions

Contributing Writer

Companies immersed in K-12 human resources, “personalized learning” and software applications have been active in the dealmaking space recently. Ed-tech company Silverback Learning Solutions acquired assessment program manager EdifyAssess. And, AcademixDirect, a provider of higher education guidance solutions, acquired career navigation app PathSource.

Silverback Learning Solutions Acquires EdifyAssess: The Boise, Idaho-based K-12 ed-tech company snapped up EdifyAssess, a cloud-based enterprise platform designed to manage all aspects of an organization’s assessment program. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Silverback offers a suite of products including a personalized learning and instructional effectiveness solutions. In a statement the company said it “will continue to offer the assessment platform to new and existing EdifyAssess customers,” supporting educators’ “ability to quickly personalize and manage student learning.”

The acquisition adds further depth of expertise in student assessment and student data management to Silverback’s expanding education software portfolio, Silverback said in the statement.

“A key tenet of Silverback is to provide thorough, real-time data insights to personalize learning and encourage student achievement,” said Jim Lewis, CEO of Silverback Learning. “By capturing the EdifyAssess formative assessment insights directly, we strengthen the opportunities to focus on student growth, longitudinally, throughout the K-12 years. EdifyAssess is the perfect platform to expand Silverback’s solutions.”

AcademixDirect Acquires PathSource: Academic advisement company AcademixDirect announced it has merged with PathSource, creator of a career-exploration app and other resume, education and career tools, AcademixDirect said in a statement. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Menlo Park, Calif.-based AcademixDirect provides free education guidance to over 12 million students annually “who are struggling to carve out a higher education plan.”

“The apps developed by the PathSource team are unlike any other education/career search technology out there,” said Don Loonam, AcademixDirect CEO. “With the PathSource integration, we offer a full spectrum of tools to help students make incredibly informed choices, saving them valuable time and money.”

As a result of the acquisition, PathSource will join two other major career/education-matching resources in AcademixDirect’s family: CourseTalk.com and Degree.Me.

PeopleGrove Raises $1.8 Million: The ed-tech startup, which has built a software platform designed to connect students and professionals with advisers, coaches, and mentors, has raised $1.8 million in seed funding, according to a statement.

The funding round was led by Reach Capital, with participation from Bisk Ventures, Collaborative Fund, Floodgate, GSV, Launch Capital, RiverPark Ventures and University Ventures.

The investment brings PeopleGrove’s total funding to $2.5 million and will help the company expand its team of engineers, build out its sales and customer success teams and reach more universities and students. Reach Capital’s General Partner Jennifer Carolan will join PeopleGrove’s board of directors.

Escape Technology Raises Funds from Alpine Investors: The provider of software applications for K-12 schools in California has raised funding from Alpine Investors, according to a statement from the companies. The funding amount was not disclosed.

Roseville, Calif.-based Escape offers an integrated suite of finance, payroll, and human resource modules that manage mission-critical budgeting and payroll processes for California school business.

“The complexity of California regulations and strength of the Escape management team allow the Company to deliver superior customer solutions, responsiveness and reliability,” Will Adams, a partner at Alpine and now a board member at Escape, said in the statement. “We couldn’t be more excited to build upon Escape’s clear momentum and strong competitive position in the marketplace.”

Ali Jenab, an Alpine CEO-in-residence, has assumed the role as CEO at Escape.

Be sure to check back on Marketplace K-12 for updates on mergers, acquisitions, fundraising, and other dealmaking.

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