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Class Reaches Definitive Agreement to Acquire Anthology’s Blackboard Collaborate

WASHINGTON and BOCA RATON, Fla., May 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Class Technologies Inc., a leader in the synchronous virtual classroom space, and Anthology, a provider of education solutions that support the entire learner lifecycle, today announced they have signed a definitive agreement for Class to acquire Anthology’s Blackboard Collaborate virtual classroom tool.

Anthology’s Blackboard Collaborate is a leader in the synchronous virtual classroom space with deep integration into Blackboard Learn Ultra, serving over 10 million users across more than 1,300 institutions in over 75 countries worldwide. Class brings the classroom online by adding teaching and learning tools to the Zoom platform, which is used by hundreds of thousands of institutions and businesses globally. Together, Class and Blackboard Collaborate will serve over 1,750 institutions representing higher education, K-12 and corporate learning & development teams around the world.

“COVID forced millions of learners and instructors online overnight and fundamentally changed the face of education and training,” said Michael Chasen, co-founder and CEO of Class. “At Class, our vision is to change the way the world learns – both in education and the workforce. Bringing together these two products and teams allows us to deliver the next generation virtual and hybrid learning environment – better, faster, and stronger than we could as two separate entities.”

This transaction will allow Anthology to focus more resources on accelerating innovation within its flagship learning management system, Blackboard Learn Ultra, and in other areas of the business where Anthology is uniquely positioned to support the global education community.

“Learner expectations have shifted and education is experiencing transformational change that calls for a renewed focus on pedagogical best practices,” said Jim Milton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Anthology. “This strategic partnership enables us to build on our momentum and deep investment in Learn Ultra and expand the impact it can have across more learning environments for our clients, ultimately driving learner and institutional success. It also will provide us the opportunity to partner more broadly with other synchronous providers in the EdTech ecosystem.”

Class Technologies will continue full support for customers across Class for Zoom and Blackboard Collaborate. The companies will also partner to build a tight integration between Blackboard Learn and Class to promote student success. The future combination will bring the best of both products together:

  • Class brings its expertise leveraging the scalability of Zoom and the extensibility of the Zoom SDK to build large, stable synchronous video experiences enriched by teaching and learning tools.
  • Blackboard Collaborate brings an industry leading integration with Blackboard Learn and a large global user base to help shape and guide future product development.
  • With the addition of the Blackboard Collaborate team, Class will bring industry leading teams of educators and technologists together to build the next generation learning platform for hybrid, hyflex, and online learning.

Class will become the preferred virtual meeting technology partner to Blackboard.

Class raised a combination of equity and debt from new and existing investors to finance the acquisition, including SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Insight Partners, Salesforce Ventures, Owl Ventures, Emergence Capital, Educational Testing Services (ETS), Arizona State University (ASU), Maven Ventures, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Fund, SWaN & Legend, Chimera Investment, Sound Ventures, Catalysis Capital Management, Guy Oseary, Bill Tai, and Super Bowl champion and entrepreneur Tom Brady.

The transaction, which is subject to customary conditions and approvals, is expected to close in Q2 of 2022. Blackboard Collaborate became part of the Anthology product suite following the company’s merger with Blackboard last year. After closing, Blackboard Collaborate will be known as Class Collaborate. It is expected that a number of employees from Anthology who currently support Blackboard Collaborate will join Class. Until then, both businesses will continue to operate as usual and as separate entities.

To learn more about the plan for Class and Blackboard Collaborate coming together, please read more on www.class.com/collaborate.

About Class Technologies Inc.

Class is software developed by Class Technologies Inc., a company founded by education software pioneer Michael Chasen. Class adds teaching and learning tools to Zoom.  It helps instructors take attendance, hand out assignments, give a quiz or test, grade work, proctor exams, talk one-on-one with a student, track student progress, and more all within the Zoom platform. Class is headquartered in Washington, DC with staff around the world. Schedule a demo at class.com and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok at @WeAreClassTech.

About Anthology

Anthology offers the largest EdTech ecosystem on a global scale for education, recently combining with Blackboard to support more than 150 million users in 80 countries. With a mission to provide dynamic, data-informed experiences to the global education community, Anthology helps learners, leaders and educators achieve their goals through over 60 SaaS products and services designed to advance learning. Discover more about how we are fulfilling our mission for K-12, higher education, business and government institutions at www.anthology.com.

Zoom is a trademark of Zoom Video Communications, Inc. Class Technologies Inc. and its product Class are not sponsored, endorsed, or otherwise affiliated with Zoom.

Notes to the Editor: Michael Chasen co-founded Blackboard in 1997, and co-founded Class in September of 2020.

SOURCE Class Technologies Inc. and Anthology

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/class-reaches-definitive-agreement-to-acquire-anthologys-blackboard-collaborate-301551215.html

EdAgree: Supporting International Students to Graduation and Beyond

Marlowe Johnson is the CEO of recently launched Educational Testing Service (ETS) subsidiary EdAgree, a company that is dedicated to optimizing long-term outcomes for international students, supporting their journey from research to application to graduation and beyond.  Before founding EdAgree, Mr. Johnson worked in the EdTech space at ETS, 2U and Pearson as a product owner and developer.  He also worked as a primary, secondary and post-secondary teacher in Cameroon, Tanzania, South Korea, China and the USA.

https://eflmagazine.com/edagree-supporting-international-students-to-graduation-and-beyond/

CollegeDekho Closes Series B Funding Round with US $35 Million

Contact: Kristen Lacaillade         Phone: 609-524-8172          Email: mediacontacts@ets.org

CollegeDekho closes its Series B funding with Disrupt ADQ and QIC coming on board recently. The USD 35 million (~INR 260 crore) round has been led by Winter Capital, ETS Strategic Capital – the private equity investments arm of ETS (creator of the TOEFL® tests and GRE® General Test), Calega, and existing investor Man Capital. 

CollegeDekho plans on utilizing the funds to further improve its offerings for students and colleges both within India and Abroad. The company will increase its investment in products and technology while growing new verticals like Ed-Fin-Tech, student accommodation, and coaching for higher education. It is also considering expanding its study abroad services in global markets. The funds raised will also be used for acquisitions and consolidation that make strategic sense. 

CollegeDekho was founded in 2015 and is India’s largest college admission and education services platform with a mission to institutionalize students’ counseling. It connects prospective students with colleges using its proprietary technology and AI-based conversation bot. Its Common Application Form platform, which enables students to apply to multiple colleges with a single click, is the largest of its kind in India. CollegeDekho offers a full range of services from Profile Building, Test Preparation, to Application Assistance, University Selection, and Visa Assistance for its Study Abroad students. 

CollegeDekho has recently launched an innovative 0% EMI-based education financing and insurance products to enable more and more students to get access to an education of their choice. The platform helps colleges by making their admissions more efficient and predictable. The company plans to build services to help students with higher education coaching as well as student accommodation services.

In his comments about the closing of Series B funding, Mr. Ruchir Arora, Founder & CEO, CollegeDekho, said, “We believe that our sound business model, innovative products, our commitment to excellence in service delivery, and growing Student base continue to help us win the trust of investors who have global exposure and experience in higher Ed-tech. Their participation in our growth story is a testimony that we are delivering on our mission of transforming the higher education journey of students. Following the fruitful completion of Series B funding, we will be expanding our team, and platforms to serve a larger number of students and colleges. We will also increase our investment in products and technologies while fueling our growth in our new verticals such as education loans, student accommodation and coaching for higher ed. Even as we double down on our efforts to increase our reach in the Indian market, we will also consider expanding our presence abroad.”

In their comments, the existing investors placed on record their hopes of the promising growth prospects of CollegeDekho. Mr. Anton Farlenkov, Managing Director at Winter Capital Advisors, said: “We are happy to welcome ADQ and QIC along with ETS Strategic Capital as our co-investor in CollegeDekho. We are convinced that partners as solid as these joining the pool of investors further strengthens the prospects of success for CollegeDekho and proves the value of an investment in EdTech, which is poised to reach US$10 billion in size in the next 5-10 years, from about US$ 2.5 billion today. We see our investment in CollegeDekho as promising and well-aligned with our strategy to expand our investment portfolio via dynamic, high-quality assets.”

“We continue to identify and invest in companies both domestically and internationally whose missions and long-term vision align with that of ETS,” said Ralph Taylor-Smith, Managing Director of ETS Strategic Capital.

“We are pleased to see continued investment in College Dekho that furthers our shared goals of advancing access and equity in education for all learners around the globe” concluded Ralph.

Mr. Mohamed Mansour, Chairman of Man Capital, commented: “We are glad to have partnered with CollegeDekho’s founders since day one and delighted to have been joined by Winter Capital and ETS Strategic Capital along with ADQ and QIC as co-investors. We continue to believe in and support the company’s vision. CollegeDekho is at the forefront of a rapidly expanding and growing Ed-Tech market in India. In addition to the exponential growth in college admission and the wider India Ed-Tech market, we are also seeing a rise in integrated solutions for college students across the globe. We believe that CollegeDekho is very well positioned to expand its services and reach to become a leading global player over the coming years.” 

ETS Acquires a Majority Stake in Kira Talent as Part of Continued Expansion of Global Higher Education Portfolio

Contact: Kristen Lacaillade         Phone: 609-524-8172          Email: mediacontacts@ets.org

Contact: Marissa Ho         Phone: 888-589-5661         Email: press@kiratalent.com

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.

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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

About ETS

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.

ETS Strategic Capital Expands Portfolio with Investments in Pymetrics and CollegeDekho

Contact: Kristen Lacaillade         Phone: 609-524-8172          Email: mediacontacts@ets.org

PRINCETON, N.J. (September 7, 2021) — ETS Strategic Capital announced today a pair of new investment deals, further expanding the group’s portfolio and advancing ETS’s strategic mission impact. The latest equity investments were made in New York-based pymetrics and India-based, CollegeDekho, representative of ETS’s commitment to aligning its business interests with companies who are well-suited to collaborate with and expand current capabilities both domestically and abroad.

The latest organizations joining the group’s portfolio include:

  • Pymetrics is an AI-based and data-driven assessment company that leverages a talent matching platform by the same name focused on employment matching and talent success prediction. The company uses soft skills measurement and AI technology to match and evaluate potential candidates for employment opportunities, most recently working with large, multinational corporations. Pymetrics’ strong commitment to reducing bias and improving diversity in hiring is well-aligned with the mission of ETS in promoting equity and fairness.

“Current HR systems were designed to address issues from a previous era, and they have failed to keep pace with the changing nature of work and the workforce,” said Frida Polli, CEO and co-founder of pymetrics. “Powered by AI, pymetrics’ platform provides global enterprises with a single solution for managing the entire talent lifecycle, including hiring, retaining, and growing a diverse global workforce. ETS shares our bold vision to transform how enterprises manage talent, and we are excited to welcome them as our partner.”

  • CollegeDekho is India’s largest global admissions and education-services platform for higher education institutions in-country. The platform provides colleges with relevant candidates, allows students to explore courses and institutions, get matched with relevant academic programs, and apply through a centralized application platform. CollegeDekho has significant synergies to connect and grow with ETS’s TOEFL® and GRE® programs, align with the previous acquisition of the GradSchoolMatch™ platform to bolster the organization’s global higher education portfolio, as well as the potential to collaborate with ETS on making available future assessments to the Indian market. The deal was led by Winter Capital.

“CollegeDekho is at an exciting phase of growth in its mission to connect students and colleges across geographies,” said Ruchir Arora, Founder and CEO of CollegeDekho. “We welcome Winter Capital, Calega and ETS to the CollegeDekho family and thank Man Capital for their continued trust in us. Their global experience and precious insights in ed-tech shall be invaluable in our growth journey. With this raise, we plan to invest in our products and services for our students and colleges as well as expand into new geographies and business verticals.”

“We continue to identify and invest in companies both domestically and internationally whose missions and long-term vision align with that of ETS,” said Ralph Taylor-Smith, Managing Director of ETS Strategic Capital. “We’re pleased to further expand the ETS portfolio with these two investments in service of the organization and focus on making equitable education available to all learners at all stages, globally.”

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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

About ETS

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

ETS Strategic Capital Invests in Degreed

ETS Strategic Capital invests in upskilling company, Degreed, alongside GSV Ventures

Contact: Kristen Lacaillade          Phone: 908-310-0306          Email: mediacontacts@ets.org

PRINCETON, N.J. (June 28, 2021) — ETS Strategic Capital announced today an investment in San Francisco-based upskilling company, Degreed, alongside GSV Ventures. This latest strategic investment by the private equity and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) arm of the organization is intended to continue to advance and grow ETS’s educational business and mission through high-growth deal making.

In 2020, companies in the United States collectively invested more than $80 billion on corporate training for their employees, according to a study by Statista®. Degreed has contributed significantly to this investment by organizations since its founding in 2012, serving as the workforce upskilling platform for one in three Fortune 50 companies.

“Our investment in Degreed will help us to continue to leverage high-growth companies who are aligned to the business and mission of ETS and grow globally as an organization,” said Ralph Taylor-Smith, Managing Director of ETS Strategic Capital. “The corporate learning, workforce development and reskilling/upskilling sector is a key new business growth area for ETS. Our latest investment is another example of growing ETS’s business in new and emerging areas to capture the white space around business we already occupy to continue to grow long-term.”

Like ETS, Degreed is a mission-driven organization aimed at propelling people to their aspirations and goals by furthering lifelong learning, upskilling and career mobility. The company is known globally for delivering an employee-centric learning experience. ETS’s investment in Degreed signals future collaboration opportunities with organizations in the workforce and work skills space as well as the ability to leverage skills-based platforms in combination with the organization’s English-language assessment line of business.

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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

About ETS
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 Degreed
Degreed is the workforce upskilling platform for one in three Fortune 50 companies. We connect all your learning, talent development, and internal mobility opportunities to intelligence on the skills your business needs next. And we do it all in one simple, fluid, skill-building experience that’s powered by your people’s expertise and interests. So you can transform your workforce from within. Founded in 2012, Degreed is headquartered in Pleasanton, California, with additional offices in Salt Lake City, New York, London, Amsterdam, and Brisbane.

Learn more about Degreed: Website | YouTube | LinkedIn | Twitter

ETS Establishes ETS Japan, Cementing the Organization’s Commitment to the Japanese Education and Learning Market

Contact: Kristen Lacaillade          Phone: 908-310-0306          Email: mediacontacts@ets.org

PRINCETON, N.J., USA (June 15, 2021) — ETS today announced that it has acquired the TOEFL® assets of the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)-Japan. The nonprofit served as the Country Master Distributor for the TOEFL ITP® tests, TOEFL® Practice Online (TPO®) tests and the Criterion® service and provided outreach services for the TOEFL iBT® test in Japan. Relevant TOEFL operations in the country for TOEFL ITP tests and TPO tests, in addition to Japan support services for the centrally administered TOEFL iBT test (including the Home Edition) and TOEFL® Essentials™ tests, will now be managed through a newly established subsidiary, ETS Japan. The acquisition was led by the organization’s private equity investment and M&A execution arm, ETS Strategic Capital. Nemoto Hitoshi, formerly of CIEE-Japan, will lead ETS Japan as Country Manager.

“Our establishment of ETS Japan further underscores ETS’s commitment to the Japanese market and our continued support of language learners in the country working to improve their English- language proficiency skills,” said Mohammad Kousha, Associate Vice President at ETS. “We look forward to continuing to deliver the high-quality, valid assessment and learning solutions we are known for through ETS Japan.”

For more than 70 years, CIEE has helped hundreds of thousands of students and educators gain the knowledge and skills necessary to live and work in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world. In 1965, CIEE established an office in Tokyo, Japan and for the last 40 years, has worked closely with ETS, administrating TOEFL tests and acting as a representative in Japan for various ETS products and services such as the TOEFL ITP, TPO, and the Criterion service. CIEE will continue to operate their study abroad centers in Tokyo and Kyoto.

“We are excited to join ETS and continue our work in providing Japanese learners access to the portfolio of TOEFL assessment products,” said Nemoto Hitoshi, country manager of ETS Japan. “Our work now as ETS Japan will continue seamlessly for our more than 500 clients and hundreds of thousands of students, providing them with the leading English-language assessments in the world.”

ETS Japan will help the organization continue as a strong partner for research and development as well as new product development initiatives in the country while also working to identify new opportunities for business expansion.

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About ETS Japan
ETS Japan, based in Tokyo, Japan, is a subsidiary of ETS headquartered in Princeton, N.J., USA. ETS Japan is the in-country arm that brings the organization’s wide-ranging expertise in education and learning to test takers and learners. The subsidiary is the Country Master Distributor for the TOEFL ITP® tests, TOEFL Practice Online® tests (TPO®) and the Criterion® service, and provides outreach services for the TOEFL iBT® tests (including TOEFL iBT® Home Edition) and the new TOEFL® Essentials™ test in Japan. With decades of experience serving learners in Japan, the staff of ETS Japan offer deep expertise and insight into delivering high-quality English language learning and assessment solutions as well as new business opportunities to organizations, institutions and individuals in the country. www.etsjapan.jp

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

About ETS
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

ETS Strategic Capital Announces New Deals, Expands Portfolio

ETS Strategic Capital executes transactions with two innovative tech companies in further expansion and
growth of investment and acquisition portfolio


Media Contact: Kristen Lacaillade, 908-310-0306, mediacontacts@ets.org

PRINCETON, N.J. (March 11, 2021) — ETS Strategic Capital, a unit within ETS focused on growing its educational business and advancing the organization’s strategic mission impact through equity investments, growth partnerships, and mergers and acquisitions, today announced new deals with two companies that allow for the further expansion of the group’s portfolio.


The new companies joining ETS Strategic Capital’s portfolio include:

  • MPOWER® Financing: A Washington, D.C. and Bangalore, India based FinTech lender focused on increasing access for the international and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) student communities that are currently underserved by conventional banks. ETS Strategic Capital made a minority investment in MPOWER Financing’s most recently-closed financing round and plans to leverage its largely international connections to student borrowers in AsiaPacific regions, primarily India and China. This connection will aim to help increase synergies between student borrowers globally and ETS’s GRE® and TOEFL® programs. https://www.mpowerfinancing.com

“MPOWER is delighted to be working with ETS and exploring ways to support the millions of students who test with them globally every year. By democratizing access to financing, we hope an even greater number of qualified students around the globe will venture to study in North America,” said Manu Smadja, MPOWER Financing’s CEO and Co-founder. “As impact-oriented firms with a global outlook, our teams instantly connected and are excited to help students attain the best possible educational outcomes.”

  • Vericant: Vericant is comprised of United States, China and internationally-located teams of admissions professionals who are working to help transform the face of international admissions and assessment. Vericant aims to aid admissions officers in being able to better evaluate their candidates through 1:1 video interviews, allowing them to make informed decisions with comprehensive information. Via a cross-border M&A transaction, ETS Strategic Capital has acquired Vericant, which going forward will operate as a new subsidiary of ETS. Vericant’s services are not new to ETS – they were previously utilized in strategic collaboration as part of ETS’s TOEFL ITP® Plus for China solution, which was developed to support Chinese students while in-person TOEFL iBT® testing was suspended as a result of COVID-19. https://www.vericant.com/

“Our broader vision is to have a video interview with every application to the institutions,” said Guy Sivan, CEO of Vericant. “We have spent years focused on developing and delivering the tools, systems and expertise of our interviews-as-a-service solution to institutions and students worldwide and I can’t think of a better way to continue to expand our impact than by joining ETS.”


MPOWER Financing and Vericant join ETS Strategic Capital’s already robust portfolio that bring innovative technology, new business models and enhanced geographic coverage, as well as complimentary technological capabilities to ETS’s current business areas. The previously announced deals include those with ApplyBoard, Capti, EdAgree, Pipplet and Gradschoolmatch.

“Our newest investments and acquisitions are a reflection of our mandate to leverage external inorganic entrepreneurial high-growth tech business innovations to expand on the capabilities and align to the mission of ETS,” said Ralph Taylor-Smith, the Managing Director of ETS Strategic Capital. “Through equity investments, growth partnerships and M&A, we continue to explore new and emerging business opportunities globally for ETS to serve learners worldwide.”

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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 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 technologytransfer relationships.

www.ets.capital


About ETS
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

Where Venture Capitalists Are Investing as Districts Shift to In – Person Education

Firms Eye Products For Families, and Those That Can Be Delivered in Multiple Environments.

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Why a Major Education Organization Jumped into the World of Venture Capital

A New Investment Fund Launched by ETS Can Support the Assessment Organization’s Bottom Line and Mission, Its Director Says

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