K-12 Dealmaking: China’s TAL Education Makes Acquistion; VIPKid Partners With Scholastic

In the latest dealmaking news, China based ed-tech company TAL Education Group has acquired an Israeli startup, and VIPKid has partnered with  longtime, U.S.-based education business Scholastic. Catapult Learning also makes an acquisition.

TAL Education Group Buys CodeMonkey: China-based ed-tech company TAL Education Group has bought Israeli game-based learning startup CodeMonkey Studios Inc. for an estimated $20 million, the companies announced during the Global Education Summit in China.

CodeMonkey will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of TAL and will be responsible for research and development of programming tutorials for the Chinese and other markets.

CodeMonkey, founded in 2013, develops game-based computer programming tutorials for children in Israel, U.S. and other countries in Asia, Europe and South America. The company’s programs have been in use in Israel’s education system since 2014.

TAL Education Group, founded in 2003, runs learning centers in more than 40 cities in China, serving more than 2 million students. The company also operates an online learning platform. This marks the company’s first non-Chinese acquisition.

Accelerate Learning Partners With BBC Learning: Accelerate Learning, provider of K-12 STEM education, has announced a partnership with BBC Learning, a division of BBC studios, according to a news release.

With the partnership, BBC Learning will provide videos, articles, photos, news and virtual reality segments that will be aligned to Accelerate Learning’s STEMscopes PreK-12 digital STEM curriculum. The BBC STEMedia Streaming Package will be available as an add-on to the STEMscopes program and available to K-12 schools and districts in Spring 2019. There will also be new instructional videos added to the existing STEM curriculum using BBC footage throughout 2020.

BBC programs have been the “gold standard” in “captivating audiences and bringing us the ability to see into the unknown and sometimes undiscovered worlds,” said Vernon Johnson, president and CEO of Accelerate Learning. With the partnership, “we can help students make real-world connections to and deepen their understanding of STEM, why it matters, and most importantly, deliver a love of science.”

Accelerate Learning’s STEMscopes curriculum was incubated at Rice University in Texas and addresses the Next Generation Science Standards. The company says the curriculum is widely used in Texas schools.

VIPKid Partners With Scholastic: China-based ed-tech company VIPKid has announced a partnership with Scholastic, the longtime publishing, education and media company.

The strategic partnership will allow thousands of Scholastic titles to be accessible to VIPKid’s learners in China. The companies believe that “incorporating engaging and beloved stories into English language learning” will help children in China master the language better.

VIPKid, founded in 2013, connects children with teachers for real-time online English immersion learning. Scholastic is known for its best-selling children’s books and products, like “The Magic School Bus,” “Goosebumps,” and “Harry Potter.”

School Loop Acquired By Think3: Think3, a private equity fund, has acquired School Loop Inc., a provider of learning management and content management systems.

The investment is Think3’s entry into the education technology space. Together the companies will continue to invest in customer success and ensure school districts continue to receive the highest level of customer service, product delivery and technical support.

School Loop will also become a key component of the Think3 Prime program for schools, which enables schools to use software across more than 70 portfolio companies at no additional charge.

School Loop is used by more than 3,500 schools, including those in Long Beach, Los Angeles, Kansas City and Albuquerque districts.

Catapult Learning Makes Acquisition: Catapult Learning, provider of special education and instructional intervention, has acquired LifeShare USA’s Educational Resources division, a provider of private special education programming, according to a news release.

The acquisition expands Catapult Learning’s special education services in Arizona and Colorado. It is also Catapult’s third acquisition in less than three months: the company acquired Leeway School for Educational Therapy and Capital Education Group.

Catapult Learning provides special education programs designed for students classified with learning exceptionalities, such as autism spectrum disorder, and those with emotional and behavioral challenges. LifeShare’s Educational Resources program provides specialized education and therapeutic services to students across the disability spectrum.

Aceable Raises $47 Million: Aceable, a digital education platform, has raised $47 million in a series B funding in a round led by Sageview CapitalThe funding will be used to expand the company’s national footprint, grow the team and move into new industries.

Aceable, headquartered in Austin, Texas, is a mobile-first education platform for certification and training courses. Their products include drivers ed, defensive driving and real estate licensing.

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