K-12 Dealmaking: Kidaptive Raises $19.1M; Chalkup Joins Microsoft Education

Contributing Writer

Adaptive learning company Kidaptive pulled in $19.1 million in its latest funding round. Also, classroom collaboration platform Chalkup has joined Microsoft Education.

Kidaptive Raises $19.1 Million: Kidaptive, a Redwood City, Calif.-based adaptive learning company, has closed a $19.1 million Series C financing round led by Formation 8 and Woongjin ThinkBig, a Korea-based education company, according to an announcement on The PE Hub Network.

Kidaptive said it will use the funding to fuel the development and growth of its adaptive learning platform for the global education market, adding that Kidaptive plans to “extend the platform’s core functionality of adaptivity and personalization by developing new features such as enhanced parent and teacher insights, score prediction and adaptive assessment development – all leveraging machine-learning AI techniques.”

Co-founder and chief learning scientist Dylan Arena said, “This funding lets us build out several aspects of the Kidaptive platform that our scientists have been working on, combining the latest in machine learning with solid educational research findings to improve outcomes for learners worldwide.”

Kidaptive’s lead investor from Formation 8 and Board Member, Brian Koo added: “Woongjin ThinkBig’s support of Kidaptive validates both the efficacy of ALP and its power when combined with learning-relevant proprietary data. I am excited about Kidaptive’s potential to be a global leader in educational technology.”

Kidaptive’s platform is a cloud-based assessment and reporting platform designed to combine data streams from a variety of learning-relevant contexts—formal and informal, online and offline, from the first years of life through continuing professional education, the company explained.

Chalkup Joins Microsoft Education:  Microsoft Education has hired the co-founder and CEO of class collaboration platform Chalkup and will integrate Chalkup’s technology into Microsoft Teams, a digital hub for students and teachers, according to blog postings from both companies.

Justin Chando, Chalkup’s co-founder and CEO, has been named principal product manager at Microsoft, effective immediately.

“Microsoft hired [Chando] after spending several days with him to help Microsoft accelerate several areas of its offering and acquired exclusive license to Chalkup’s technology,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in an email to EdWeek Market Brief. Microsoft is not disclosing the specific terms of the deal.

Features such as Chalkup’s rubrics system will be added to Microsoft Teams, aiming to “make it easier to assess and grade student assignments and projects,” according to Microsoft’s blog posting regarding the news.

Teachers will be able to run their current Chalkup courses for the rest of the school year until Chalkup shuts down at the end of June, Chando said in a blog posting on Chalkup’s website, adding that users will be able to export course information and transition to Microsoft Teams.

Endeavor Schools Raises Funds: Miami-based Endeavor Schools, owner and operator of private preK-12 schools in the U.S., received an investment from private equity firm Leeds Equity Partners. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed; however, a statement from Leeds Equity referred to the deal as an “acquisition.”

“Leeds Equity has, without doubt, incomparable sector experience; but it also has an extraordinary history of committing in word and in deed to working side-by-side with enterprises to help them grow and constantly innovate and improve. We look forward to a rewarding partnership that will benefit our students, their families, our educators and staff,” said Ricardo Campo, founder and CEO of Endeavor.

New York-based Leeds Equity focuses exclusively on investing in the education, training and information services industries.

Westchester Publishing Services Joins Learnosity Partner Network: Westchester Publishing Services has entered into an agreement with Learnosity, an assessment solutions provider headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, according to a statement. Under the terms of this agreement, the Westchester K-12 Publishing Services division will join the newly formed Custom Content division of Learnosity’s Partner Network. The company launched Westchester K-12 Publishing Services to serve the needs of educational publishers last year.

“Being part of the Learnosity Partner Network allows Westchester K-12 Publishing Services to leverage the flexibility of the Learnosity platform to develop engaging and innovative assessment items that seamlessly integrate into our client’s assessment systems,” Danbury, Conn.-based Westchester Publishing said in a statement.

“Our resources have used Learnosity’s system on behalf of many of our clients for quite some time, so we are excited to formalize this partnership,” said Kevin J. Gray, managing director of Westchester K-12 Publishing Services. “Learnosity’s system allows for the flexibility in delivery and accuracy in reporting that we know is important to our clients, and we look forward to developing more content on their behalf using the intuitive authoring platform that Learnosity provides.”

Schneider Electric Partners With Accelerate Learning: Energy and sustainability company Schneider Electric and Accelerate Learning, a provider of digital curriculum solutions for science classrooms, have formed a joint partnership to deliver STEM education tools to preK-12 school districts across the country, according to a statement.

Through the partnership, Schneider Electric will deliver Accelerate Learning’s STEMscopes PreK-12 curriculum and materials to districts as part of an energy savings performance contract.

“Our partnership with the nationally recognized STEMscopes program will help PreK-12 school districts achieve their vision of creating best-in-class learning environments and providing the knowledge base to develop the next generation of leaders,” said Tammy Fulop, vice president of Schneider Electric.

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