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PRINCETON, N.J. (November 11, 2021) — ETS announced today that it has acquired a majority stake in Toronto-based, Kira Talent, the world’s only holistic admissions platform solution designed for higher education, as the organization continues to expand its Global Higher Education portfolio and diversify its offerings to bolster commitment to serving the graduate education community and beyond. The deal was led by ETS Strategic Capital, the private equity investment and merger and acquisition execution arm for ETS, its subsidiaries and its partners. Kira Talent will operate as a majority owned subsidiary of ETS. Kira Talent’s CEO and staff will remain in place as part of the deal’s terms.
“Kira Talent’s offerings will serve as a well-suited addition to our Global Higher Education portfolio for which a sharp, intentional focus on holistic admissions has always been at the forefront,” said Alberto Acereda, Associate Vice President of Global Higher Education at ETS. “We look forward to playing an integral role in their continued success in delivering high-quality, equitable education opportunities to all learners as they advance in their learning journeys.”
Kira Talent’s video and assessment platform will be part of ETS’s Global Higher Education portfolio, advancing the digital transformation being undertaken to deliver a seamless, all-in-one solution for learners pursuing higher education and careers, and the higher education institutions and employers they’ll touch along the way. The portfolio of tools, services and assessments, which includes the previously acquired GradSchoolMatch™ platform, will aim to empower institutions to make more informed decisions and achieve desired outcomes, from recruiting the right learners and ensuring their success to helping them graduate and find a career.
“From day one, our focus at Kira Talent has been on the belief that a holistic admissions process in higher education is the best way to ensure equity and fairness in education now and in the future,” said Emilie Cushman, President and CEO of Kira Talent. “We know that ETS shares this belief, so working more closely with them will allow us to align with ETS’s social mission and continue to deliver educational opportunities to students and institutions worldwide.”
“Both ETS and Kira Talent are well-positioned to partner strategically together to ensure access and equality for learners in higher education long-term,” said Ralph Taylor-Smith, Managing Director of ETS Strategic Capital. “Our ETS Strategic Capital team continues to be focused on strengthening market fit and driving global business growth for ETS, and we are pleased to have been able to collaborate closely with both Alberto and Emilie to bring this deal to successful fruition.”
This deal will fuel rapid growth for Kira Talent as they scale development of their education admissions solutions, which will include new suites of products incorporating alternative and quantitative assessments as well as further expansion of their structured interview platform. In addition, Kira has plans for continued global expansion of its workforce to meet increased product demand, acceleration of partnership opportunities, and forging pathways to serve new markets and a broader diversity of higher education partners.
About ETS Strategic Capital
ETS Strategic Capital serves as the private equity investment and M&A execution arm for ETS, its subsidiaries and its partners sourcing transactions within both the domestic United States and internationally. The unit partners with the broader EdTech ecosystem to identify and execute deals, coordinate with other ETS business units to identify opportunities and needs, network with professional services firms with education expertise, and build direct relationships with businesses internationally — especially within Europe, Asia Pacific, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East & Africa (MENA) regions. ETS Strategic Capital targets private equity investments that are typically in Series B, C or later; acquisitions that are middle-market in scale; and growth partnerships that may involve joint ventures (JVs), channel-affiliate or distribution agreements, Intellectual Property (IP) licensing and technology-transfer relationships. www.ets.capital
At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and postsecondary education, and by conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series® assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. www.ets.org
About Kira Talent
Kira Talent is the world’s only holistic admissions solution designed for higher education. Founded in 2012, Kira transforms the admissions process by combining on-demand, timed video and timed written assessments, and structured live interview technology with existing admissions requirements. Kira is trusted by more than 750 programs worldwide and over 1 million applicants have completed a Kira assessment, with an average satisfaction rating of 4.6/5.