K-12 Dealmaking: Blackboard Acquires CardSmith; Third Acquisition of 2014

By guest blogger Kevin Connors

In their continuing effort to serve students on and away from campus, Blackboard has acquired CardSmith, a campus card provider currently used by over 2 million cardholders.


While CardSmith serves a variety of institutions and industries, including healthcare and business, they have a strong presence in K-12 schools and Higher Education.

Campus card services are not a new business for Blackboard, who has offered those products since 2001, and like other campus card solutions, CardSmith’s allows a student to complete a range of activities, from paying for books and meals to entering secure buildings on campus. 

Unlike some of its competitors, CardSmith is managed through the cloud, rather than through software or physical servers. Blackboard believes the cloud-based solution enables more scalable options to more schools and districts, according to a statement issued by the company. 

Well known as a learning management system provider, Blackboard also offers a host of other educational products. Currently, their tools are used by 75 percent of colleges and universities and half of K-12 districts.

CardSmith is Blackboard’s third acquisition of the year, after acquiring IT Help Desk provider Perceptis in July and LMS platform designer MyEdu in January. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

For more news on mergers, acquisitions, and venture capital in education, follow Marketplace K-12’s “K-12 Dealmaking” series. 

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