By Guest Contributor Lisa Wolfe
While the investment bank, Berkery Noyes, reported a slight drop in investment and acquisition activity in the K-12 market in the first half of 2022,* there was a lot happening in the third quarter of the year with numerous acquisitions, rounds of funding and personnel changes being reported. And the need for innovative education solutions is greater than perhaps ever before. For the first time since the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests began tracking student achievement, 9-year-olds lost ground in math, and scores in reading fell by the largest margin in more than three decades,** demonstrating the reality of learning loss resulting from the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are the market highlights from Q3:
- IXL Learning, developer of personalized learning products, acquired Emmersion, an automated language assessment company.
- Scholastic acquired Learning Ovations, the creator of a literacy screening, progress monitoring assessment and instructional planning system. Scholastic also named Jeffrey Mathews executive vice president, corporate development and investor relations.
- Edmentum announced the appointment of Chrishonda Smith as chief people and culture officer.
- Discovery Education acquired Pivot Interactive, a library of interactive educational science videos, and United Kingdom-based math and language arts product provider DoodleLearning. The company also promoted Amy Nakamoto to general manager of social impact and named Jackie Smalls vice president of social impact coalitions.
- GoGuardian completed its acquisition of TutorMe. The company also named Elisa Villanueva Beard to its board of directors.
- Edlio acquired SchoolInfo, creators of mobile apps for schools.
- American Student Assistance appointed Angie Castera as chief human resources officer.
- Thoma Bravo entered into an agreement to sell Frontline Education to Roper Technologies.
- The Association for Educational Communications and Technology appointed Nolan Gruver chief executive officer.
- Renaissance Learning acquired Illuminate Education.
- The New Teacher Center named Tommy Chang as its next CEO.
- Lightspeed Systems appointed Sheridan Doerr to the new role of executive vice president of customer success.
- Edmodo, a popular communication and collaboration tool for K-12 teachers, announced it is permanently shutting down on September 22.
- Nerdy, developer of Varsity Tutors, acquired Codeverse, an online coding platform. The company also named Stuart Udell to its board of directors.
- Seth Dunham is the new president of Edovate Learning.
- WeVideo acquired PlayPosit, a company that provides interactive learning environments.
- Phil Charland joined SchoolStatus as the company’s first chief revenue officer.
- Learning Care Group, an early childhood education provider, named Johnna Weller chief academic officer.
- Cary Schoener is the new vice president, business development, government at ClassWallet.
- Excelligence Learning Corporation named Anupam Martins CEO. Martins will also join the company’s board of directors.
- Revolutions Foods acquired Better 4 You Meals, a school meal provider in California and Nevada.
- Solution Tree, named Calvin Daniels chief marketing officer.
- MIND Research Institute appointed Caroline Wynne as vice president of engagement.
- Joseph A. Verbrugge was elected to the Stride board of directors. The company also named Donna Blackman as chief financial officer
- HMH appointed Benita Flucker chief equity and inclusion officer.
- Pearl, a tutoring software provider, announced its seed fundraising has passed $4 million.
- Trisha Thomas is the new president at Reading Horizons.
- 95 Percent Group announced a new executive team. Led by CEO Brad Lindaas, the team includes Laura Stewart, chief academic officer; Anella Wetter, chief sales officer; Laura Sullivan, chief marketing officer; George Gatsis, chief technology officer; Jennifer Harris, chief product officer; and Mehul Patel, chief financial officer.
- Jim Yang is the new chief marketing officer at ParentSquare.
- Great Minds PBC received a $150 million investment from A-Street. In addition, former Louisiana State Superintendent of Education John White was named chief success officer.
- ISTE appointed Cheretta Clerkley as chief operations officer.
- Safari Montage named Shannon Terry vice president of national strategic accounts and Kate Crawford vice president of strategic accounts.
- Instructure named Shiren Vijiasingam the company’s new chief product officer.
- The National Science Foundation awarded a $14 million grant to American National Election Studies at the University of Michigan to study the 2024 elections.
- FEV Tutor was acquired by Alpine Investors.
- Texthelp appointed Gus Schmedlen as its new chief revenue officer.
- Follett School Solutions appointed Chris Porter CEO.
- Jennifer Mullin joined DreamBox Learning as chief marketing officer.
- Sourcewell acquired FilterED, a cloud-based platform for schools.
- StraighterLine named Jeff Mutimer chief growth officer.
- John Ray-Keil is the new CEO at Ripple Effects. Ray-Keil succeeds co-founder, Alice Ray, who will become chair of the board
- Progress Learning acquired Horizon Education.
- The Learning Economy Foundation named John Goodwin as executive chairman of its board of directors.
- Genius Group Limited appointed Rav Karwal chief revenue officer
- Elevate K-12 closed a $40 million Series C funding round.
- Pamela Schaffer is Curriki’s new chief executive officer.
- Prenda, a K-8 micro-school company, announced a $20 million Series B funding round.
- Achieve Partners acquired a majority stake in Boclips, a company that curates educational videos.
- IXL Learning acquired Curiosity Media, which develops language learning services.
- Lynelle Morgenthaler is the new executive program officer at Smarter Balanced.
- Outschool named Jennifer Wynn to its board of directors.
- GoEducate.com named Gordon Freedman as its new president.
- Beable Education acquired Readorium, a provider of educational software that teaches reading comprehension skills through science.
If the first part of the year is indication, 2022 will come to a close with another flurry of K-12 education market activity. Check-in in December to find out!
Sources: *Berkery Noyes Releases Education Industry M&A Report For Half Year 2021
**Reading and mathematics scores decline during COVID-19 pandemic
Lisa Wolfe is the president of L. Wolfe Communications. Founded in April 2000, L. Wolfe Communications offers its clients a network of senior, experienced public relations executives with a variety of complementary experience and expertise in public relations and communications for the education and library markets.