K-12 Dealmaking: VIF International Education Makes Acquisition; Accelerate Learning, Bloomz Raise Funds

Contributing Writer

In recent dealmaking news, VIF International Education has acquired an online collaboration platform for teachers, while four ed-tech companies have attracted the support of investors.

VIF Acquires Participate Learning: VIF International Education, a company that partners with districts and schools to support global educator development through cultural exchange, has acquired Participate Learning, an online platform for educational resource discovery and collaboration. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The move “positions VIF to deliver best-in-breed technology to enhance and expand professional learning and collaboration opportunities for educators,” VIF said in a statement.

VIF wasn’t the only education company to show interest in online communities for teachers this month. Pearson also recently formed a partnership with Teaching Channel, an online community for teachers.

The partnership pairs Pearson’s new literacy program for grades 6-12, myPerspectives English Language Arts, with teachingchannel.org and will “allow myPerspectives teachers across the country to collaborate in a thriving online professional community,” according to a statement.

In the venture capital world:

Accelerate Learning Raises $10 Million: Accelerate Learning, a provider of digital resources for pre-K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, education, has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Owl Ventures.

Accelerate Learning was founded in conjunction with Rice University. Rice Management Company, the steward of the Rice University endowment, was the sole investor in the company prior to this round of funding

Owl Ventures is a San Francisco-based venture capital fund that invests in education technology companies.

Bloomz Raises $2.3 Million: The PreK-8 community and messaging app has secured $2.3 million in capital investment. Investors included 8VC, CorrelationVC, Wisemont Capital, Acequia Capital and individuals such as Chris Liddell and Charlie Songhurst.

The new capital will be directed toward enhancements of Bloomz and expanding the user base of the app, which is used by teachers and parents in more than 10,000 schools, the company said in a statement.

KickUp Raises $1.54 Million: Edtech startup KickUp has raised $1.54 million in a seed round led by Reach Capital, with investments from Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Rittenhouse Ventures, the Jefferson Education Fund, Arcady Bay PartnersDeborah Quazzo and other angel investors, according to press reports.

Philadelphia-based KickUp partners with K-12 organizations in trying to coordinate professional learning efforts, improve decision-making and “ensure that great ideas translate into demonstrable outcomes in the classroom,” according to the company website. KickUp is a graduate of ed-tech accelerator Imagine K12’s fall 2015 cohort of startups.

Ed-Tech Startup EduRev Raises Funds: Gurgaon, India-based EduRev (an abbreviation for “Education Revolution”) has raised an undisclosed amount in Pre- Series A funding from Pradeep Reddy Kamasan, an angel investor from Hyderabad, according to various press reports, which also stated the company had been seeking $1 million in funding last December.

EduRev is an educational network for teachers, authors and publishers based on a crowd-sourced library.

Be sure to check back on Marketplace K-12 for updates on mergers, acquisitions, fundraising, and other dealmaking. Also see EdWeek Market Brief, a service that gives companies operating in the market insights on the needs and priorities of school officials.

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