Education software giant PowerSchool has made an acquisition intended to expand its footprint in schools throughout India, one of the largest education markets in the world.
The company acquired Neverskip, an ed-tech firm based in India that provides enterprise resource planning system software to schools. Neverskip, which was founded in 2008, uses its software to help schools automate daily operations, ranging from admissions to attendance to payroll.
It marks the latest in a growing list of acquisitions by PowerSchool since 2015, as the company has ramped up its operations over the years to become publicly traded and to take a bigger dive into international education markets.
The merger will allow PowerSchool, which provides products that include a student information system and a learning management system, to offer the most complete suite of K-12 tools to India’s array of public and private school networks, said CEO Hardeep Gulati.
Neverskip currently has more than 900 schools and about 1.2 million students using its platform in India that will come under the PowerSchool umbrella.
The name of the game now is to grow those numbers, Gulati explained in an interview.
“We are actually now able to have the most comprehensive K-12 offering for the India market compared to any other local vendor,” he said . “That is going to allow us to really scale from about one to two million students in India … to almost 10 times that in the next few years.”
India’s education system is made up of more than 260 million students spread across a network of regional, government-run schools and private schools, and offering international curriculum and lessons in English.
Rollout of Grants to Districts
PowerSchool has had a presence in India since 2017 when it established an office in Bengaluru, in the southern part of the country. The organization currently has about 1,300 employees in India.
But it was just in 2021 that the company launched its own sales and marketing division to grow revenue in the India market. A few hundred schools in India already use PowerSchool products, independent of the Neverskip acquisition, Gulati said.
With the acquisition of Neverskip, there’s now a “huge opportunity for us to grow that base in the India market,” he said.
Many education companies from the U.S. and other markets have sought to establish a foothold in India.
In recent years, huge amounts of venture capital have also poured into India’s ed-tech space. Major India-based companies like Byju’s — which has stated ambitions for entering the U.S. education market — and Unacademy have been among the fastest-growing players. (Byju’s has reportedly faced scrutiny from Indian regulators, and it recently announced it had settled a dispute with lenders over a $1.2 billion loan. Unacademy announced layoffs earlier this year.)
Financial details of PowerSchool’s acquisition were not disclosed, but Gulati said it was his organization’s first acquisition of an India-based company.
PowerSchool has been aggressive in growing its business through acquisitions in recent years.
From 2015 to 2022, the company completed 16 acquisitions “to thoughtfully build out our platform of K-12 software solutions, “ according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Some of those deals include the 2021 purchase of Naviance and Intersect, connecting platforms that focus on college, career, and life readiness and admissions, in a deal valued at roughly $319 million, according to the SEC filing.
And last year PowerSchool completed three acquisitions, according to the filing: a $23.3 million deal for Kinvolved, a K-12 communication engine provider; a $13.5 million purchase of a Canadian company called Chalk.com that offers an integrated curriculum analytics platform for $13.5 million; and a $5.8 million acquisition of Headed2, a career path planning platform.
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