Acquisitions in the Education and EdTech Sector in 2023
The following is a summary of mergers and acquisitions transactions in the education and edtech sectors in 2023. We try to update this post every week as we close more deals and learn of other deals that have closed in the sector.
The education and edtech sectors have seen a marked slowdown in activity so far in 2023. This is following a significant drop in valuations in 2022 as edtech companies no longer benefited from the COVID boost. That said, valuations for small, medium, and large edtech companies are back to their normal pre-COVID levels and are still significantly higher than valuations for traditional businesses, with the average small and medium-sized edtech companies being valued at approximately 3X trailing twelve-months revenue.
Acquisitions in the education and edtech sectors in 2023 so far
Below is a summary of the mergers and acquisition transactions in the education and edtech sectors so far in 2023. This list is updated every two weeks.
In December, Curriculum Associates, which sells research-based print and online instructional materials, assessments, and data management tools, acquired SoapBox Labs, an AI speech recognition company.
Carnegie, a New Heritage Capital backed company that provides innovative marketing and enrollment solutions in higher education, acquired Fire Engine Red, a student search service for college and university admissions offices.
ACI Learning acquired Infosec Learning, a company that provides colleges, universities, businesses, and governments with high-speed, intuitive virtual labs and cyber ranges for hands-on, personalized learning and skill assessment. The amount was undisclosed.
ParentSquare, which makes a tool to engage school families and communities, acquired Remind, which runs a secure communication platform for schools.
Allen Career Institute acquired Doubtnut, which makes a learning app that helps students solve math and science problems by taking photos of them, for $10 million. Doubtnut, which had raised over $52 million, was at one point valued at close to $150 million.
In November, Byju announced that it is in talks to sell Epic, its digital reading platform based in the U.S., for $400 million. The potential buyer was not disclosed.
Academic Partnerships has agreed to acquire Wiley’s online program management (OPM) division for approximately $110 million.
DaySmart, a business management company, acquired Sawyer, a business management company focused on the K-12 extracurricular activities market. The amount was not disclosed.
Flywire, a Boston-based software and payments company, acquired StudyLink, a student admissions company in Australia, for an undisclosed amount.
GMB Architecture and Engineering acquired Up and Up, a marketing firm focused on higher ed, for an undisclosed amount.
Enrollify, which offers professional development programs for higher ed marketing professionals, was acquired by Element451, a higher ed student engagement platform.
DaySmart, a business management software company, acquired Sawyer, which provides scheduling and payment solutions for K-12 extracurricular activities. The purchase price was not disclosed.
In October, Instructure, the edtech company that developed Canvas, a web-based learning management system, and MasteryConnect, an assessment management system, agreed to acquire Parchment, a digital credential company, for $835 million.
Rise In, a Web3 education platform, acquired the Web3 edtech company BlockBeam.
BibliU, a London, UK-based EdTech company, acquired Texas Book Company, a Texas-based industry leader in delivering learning materials to higher education institutions across the U.S.
Accelerate Learning, which produces STEM curriculum, acquired Kide Science, an online library of play and story-based lesson plans and professional development materials for kindergarten through 3rd grade teachers.
Discovery Education, a K-12 digital curriculum and learning services provider backed by Clearlake Capital, acquired DreamBox Learning, a provider of online software for math and reading education, for an undisclosed amount.
The Malvern School, a chain of early childhood education centers, was acquired by Busy Bees, an international early childcare provider that’s expanding in North America.
In September, Meazure Learning, a test developer, acquired Examity, a leading online exam proctoring service, for an undisclosed amount.
A Chicago-based private equity firm, Golden Vision Capital Americas, acquired the educational software company Hawkes Learning for an undisclosed amount. Hawkes created the first adaptive learning educational software with embedded expert systems – the precursor to AI. Their comprehensive suite of innovative course materials encompasses a wide range of subjects, including Mathematics, English, Science, Statistics, Business, and Humanities.
Babbel, a language learning platform, acquired the browser extension Toucan to further expand its learning ecosystem with a browser extension. The amount was not disclosed.
FullBloom, a provider of special education instruction and interventions, acquired a counseling support company, EmpowerU, for an undisclosed amount.
QuantaSing, the Beijing-based learning and development provider, acquired Kelly’s Education, a Hong Kong-based online learning platform. The amount wasn’t disclosed.
In August, Presence, a K-12 teletherapy company, acquired RemoteHQ’s software platform for an undisclosed amount.
Clearlake Capital-backed Discovery Education, a K-12 digital curriculum and learning services provider, agreed to purchase Dreambox Learning, an edtech provider of online software for math and reading education.
SchoolStatus, a K-12 communications company, acquired the school engagement platform ClassTag. The amount wasn’t disclosed.
Noodle, a higher ed enrollment and infrastructure growth company, acquired Meteor, a higher ed-focused upskilling company, for an undisclosed amount.
Ascent, an outcomes-based leading and student success company, acquired the professional development platform Ampersand for an undisclosed amount.
Sallie Mae, the student lender, acquired “key assets” of Scholly, a scholarship search app, for an undisclosed amount.
Student data validation software provider Level Data acquired GlimpseK12, a curriculum measurement tool. The purchase price was not disclosed.
Kahoot, the publicly traded company that developed the popular online quiz tool was acquired by Goldman Sachs’ Private Equity for $1.2 billion in an all-cash deal.
In July, Edtech giant PowerSchool announced that it plans to acquire SchoolMessenger, which offers a range of voice, text, and online tools to help K-12 schools notify parents and students, for approximately $300 million.
Newsela, a K-12 content platform, acquired the instruction and assessment platform Formative for an undisclosed amount.
In June, Axcel Learning, an education acquisition business with financial backing from Alpine Investors, acquired ExitCertified, an online training company focused on upskilling and reskilling individuals, teams, and organizations.
In May, Learning technology company HMH acquired research and educational services organization NWEA. The combined organization will harness the collective power of instruction and research-based insights to support educators in their efforts to drive better outcomes for students.
Learneo, the company that owns CliffNotes, Course Hero, and Quillbot, acquired Barnes & Noble Digital Student Solutions for $20 million.
The learning management system, Go1 acquired the book summarizing subscription service Blinkist.
The University of Idaho announced last week that it intends to acquire the giant for-profit University of Phoenix, with 85,000 students, for $550 million.
Specialized Education Services, a K-12 services provider, acquired Illinois-based special education school NewHope Academy for an undisclosed amount.
Five Arrows, the alternative assets arm of Rothschild & Co., purchased n2y, a provider of comprehensive, technology-powered solutions for students with unique learning challenges, from The Riverside Company, a private investor.
In April, Raptor Technologies, a K-12 school safety software provider, acquired SchoolPass, a cloud-based solutions provider. The amount was not disclosed.
In March, Renaissance, a preK–12 education technology provider, acquired GL Education, a provider of formative assessments for schools.
Class Technologies Inc., a virtual software provider, acquired CoSo Cloud, a digital learning company, for an undisclosed amount.
Five Arrows, the alternative assets arm of Rothschild & Co, has acquired n2y, a provider of education technology solutions for students with learning challenges.
Docebo, a corporate training and learning platform with AI capabilities, has acquired PeerBoard, a knowledge-sharing platform.
Brightwheel, an all-in-one early education platform, has acquired Experience Early Learning, a research-based early education curriculum provider.
Excolere Equity Partners acquired a controlling interest in EPS School Specialty, a leading developer of curriculum products and services that enhance literacy and math skills for K-12th grade students, particularly those who are two-plus years behind grade level.
Parchment, based in the US, acquired the higher-ed platform Quottly for an undisclosed amount.
Voxy, based in Great Britain, acquired language-learning startup Fluentify for an undisclosed amount.
Carnegie, a leading provider of innovative marketing and enrollment solutions in higher education, has completed two acquisitions. In January of this year, Carnegie acquired the National Small College Enrollment Conference (NSCEC), the leading conference dedicated to serving the needs of small colleges. And secondly, in March, Carnegie acquired CLARUS Corporation, a leading provider of digital marketing solutions for community and technical colleges.
Teaching Channel, a provider of online teacher education, has merged with Learners Edge and Insight ADVANCE. The terms were not disclosed.
Highlights for Children, publisher of a magazine for kids and other media, acquired Tinkergarten, which provides play-based outdoor learning experiences to children six months to 8 years old.
UWorld, which provides learning tools to help students prepare for high-stakes tests, has acquired Wiley’s Efficient Learning test prep portfolio.
Vasil Jaiani, a data management company executive, has acquired two interactive educational websites, Visual Fractions and Worksheet Genius.
XL Learning, a provider of a learning resources platform for K-12 students, acquired Teachers Pay Teachers, a marketplace for teachers to sell lesson materials to each other.
Savvas Learning Company acquired Whooo’s Reading, a gamified reading platform driven by AI, for an undisclosed amount.
Atairos, an investment company, agreed to acquire LifeLabs Learning, an edtech platform that provides upskilling programs for managers.
Bain Capital Double Impact, LP acquired Meteor Education, LLC, from Saw Mill Capital Partners. Meteor is the leading provider for the design, delivery, and implementation of modern environments for K-12 schools, operating at the intersection of learning environments and learning experiences.
TPG’s Rise Fund picked up a controlling stake in the Malaysia-based Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation in a deal worth $300 million.
Perdoceo, which owns Colorado Technical University and American InterContinental University System, acquired the software engineering bootcamp Coding Dojo for $53 million.
Tutoring provider Paper acquired the college-readiness tool MajorClarity. The terms of the deal were not announced.
The Riverside Company, a global private investor focused on the smaller end of the middle market, has invested in Eduthings, a software solutions provider for Career and Technical Education (CTE) administrators, teachers, and students to track outcomes and monitor overall program effectiveness. Eduthings is an add-on investment to Riverside’s platform, iCEV, a leading developer of SaaS-based digital curriculum, instructional materials, and industry certifications for the CTE market.
Riverside Company acquired Human Element Solutions, LLC (Element H), a provider of live events, video, creative, and digital content solutions that optimize audience engagement within the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device/diagnostic industries.
U.S. News & World Report acquired CollegeAdvisor.com, a college admissions platform, from NCSA College Recruiting. The amount was not disclosed.
Study.com, an online learning platform, acquired the tutoring company Enhanced Prep for an undisclosed amount.
Accelerate Learning, a K-12 STEM curriculum provider was acquired by Providence Equity Partners. The terms were not disclosed.
Imagine Learning, one of the largest digital curriculum providers acquired Winsor Learning, whose staff will join Imagine Learning. The acquisition was announced as part of a new push into special education. The amount was not disclosed.
MSB School Services, a K-12 special education software provider, was acquired by Craftsman Capital, a private equity firm, for an undisclosed amount.
Thesis, a cloud-based administration software system for higher ed, was acquired by the private equity firm SilverTree. The amount wasn’t disclosed.
The student engagement platform Learning Explorer acquired Mosaic, the assessment system from ACT. The amount wasn’t disclosed.
ParentSquare, a K-12 engagement platform developer, acquired Gabbart Communications, a school communications tool. The amount wasn’t disclosed.
Online program management company Noodle acquired the South African-based Hubble Studios, a digital content developer, for an undisclosed amount.
Edustaff, a K-12 staffing company, announced it received a non-controlling investment from the private equity firm Public Pension Capital.
We will update this post every two weeks as we close more deals in the education and edtech sectors and learn about other transactions.
Read our previous article for information about mergers and acquisitions deals in the education and edtech sectors that closed in 2002.
About the Author and Jackim Woods & Co.
Rich Jackim is an education industry investment banker, educational industry entrepreneur, and former mergers and acquisitions attorney.
For the last 25 years, Rich has been providing boutique investment banking services to middle-market companies in the education sector.
Rich also founded a successful training and certification company called the Exit Planning Institute, which he sold to a private equity group in 2012.
Rich is also the author of the critically acclaimed book, The $10 Trillion Dollar Opportunity: Designing Successful Exit Strategies for Middle Market Businesses.
Jackim Woods & Co offers skilled mergers and acquisitions advisory services to privately owned schools, colleges, and EdTech companies in both sell-side and buy-side transactions. Jackim Woods & Co has arranged over 100 successful transactions, ranging from less than one million to more than eighty million dollars in value.
If you own an education-related business and are interested in exploring your options, I would welcome an opportunity to speak with you. Feel free to contact me at 224-513-5142 or firstname.lastname@example.org.