News

ETS Strategic Capital Arranges Seed Capital and Facilitates Strategic Business Partnership with Capti

ETS and Capti will partner to develop and bring to market personalized literacy and learning tools for K–12 students

PRINCETON, N.J. (Sept. 16, 2020) — ETS Strategic Capital, a new unit of education nonprofit ETS created to grow its business and advance its mission, today announced that it arranged seed capital and established a strategic business partnership between ETS and Capti. Based in Buffalo, N.Y., Capti provides a personalized literacy and learning platform that helps K–12 students improve their reading comprehension through machine learning, artificial intelligence and natural learning processes.

In 2019, Capti licensed ETS's intellectual property in assessment, developing and integrating them with the existing tools in their Capti platform. There was solid market interest in this collaboration, which helped lead to the decision by ETS to provide seed capital and establish a strategic business partnership which was completed in July 2020 by ETS Strategic Capital.

ETS and Capti then launched the ReadReady assessment together in August 2020 to help identify areas where readers are struggling and provide teachers with detailed information to target these areas for intervention. Based on ETS's research and experience in assessment, the ReadReady assessment looks at specific components, either individually or collectively, that can affect a student's success in reading and provides a clearer, more comprehensive picture than other current assessments. Capti is the official distribution platform of this tool.

Commenting on the transaction, Ralph Taylor-Smith, Managing Director of ETS Strategic Capital, said, "ETS's seed investment and strategic business partnership with Capti makes strong strategic and financial sense, advancing ETS Strategic Capital's mandate. Capti complements and builds out ETS's existing offering — it serves the large and growing K–12 market, leverages advanced innovative technologies, and takes on the core skill of reading comprehension in new and exciting ways. With our experience of successfully working with Capti in the past, we are confident in the ability to hit the ground running with them and create further value together for the benefit of students and teachers alike."

Dr. Yevgen Borodin, CEO of Capti, added, "ETS's expertise in assessments provided Capti with a critical component, helping us create a more comprehensive and complete solution. With the ReadReady assessment, Capti is now the 'AAA' for teachers, helping them assess, accommodate and accelerate reading. Importantly, we have an opportunity to make an immediate difference for millions of students nationwide in overcoming the COVID-19 slide in reading and addressing their new needs in remote and hybrid settings. We also see tremendous potential in the future once the country transitions back to more traditional school settings."

Established in 2012 by Stony Brook University's computer science professors and Ph.D. students to develop a novel assistive-learning technology, Capti has now a team of 20 developing universally accessible tools that help personalize students' reading experience and make learning more interactive and productive. As part of the agreement, Taylor-Smith will join Capti's Board and Capti will work closely with ETS's Research & Development (R&D) and New Product Development (NPD) teams to expand future opportunities to positively impact K–12 student reading success across the United States.

ETS Strategic Capital's mandate is to broaden, expand and diversify ETS's offering in assessment, learning and development for K–12, higher education, and corporations. It is actively seeking transactions to establish a global portfolio of innovative education companies that will have a positive financial and strategic impact by bringing technology, new business models and/or geographic coverage that complement and build out ETS's current business. Capti is one of ETS Strategic Capital's first five portfolio companies.

About Capti

Capti, created by Charmtech Labs LLC, is used as a literacy tool and the assistive technology of choice in school districts, colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad. Capti is ideal for students with and without disabilities who are learning in an online and hybrid settings. For its innovations in accessibility and education, Capti has been recognized with a number of awards, including those from the U.S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation and Federal Communications Commission. For more information, visit www.captivoice.com.

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