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Harver Acquires pymetrics, Further Enhancing Talent Decision Capabilities Across the Employee Lifecycle

Acquisition will capitalize on best-in-class I/O psychology and cognitive science approaches to enable efficient, unbiased, and high-quality talent decisions across the entire employee lifecycle

Boston, MA — August 11, 2022 — Harver, the industry leading hiring solution helping organizations optimize their talent decisions, today announced the completion of its acquisition of pymetrics, the leader in unbiased soft skills assessments. Together, Harver and pymetrics address a broad set of talent acquisition and talent management use cases, empowering organizations to optimize their talent decisions across the employee lifecycle.

The acquisition of pymetrics adds a groundbreaking, behavioral-based AI methodology to Harver’s comprehensive set of existing talent assessments, providing organizations with a wider breadth and depth of predictive talent decisioning products to address their unique professional and hourly hiring needs. Incorporating best-in-class approaches from both I/O psychology and cognitive science, the combined offerings will accelerate the companies’ shared vision of putting purpose to work by identifying, matching, and developing the right people for the right role and ultimately delivering better outcomes for global organizations in a more efficient and unbiased manner.

“An organization’s people are the most essential and strategic part of the business,” said Scott Landers, CEO, Harver. “Harver and pymetrics share a mission to help find people’s purpose and then put it to work. By joining forces, we will be able to offer our customers across the globe a more robust and diverse set of solutions to help them drive better talent decisions. Together, we will help enterprises maximize the potential of their employee base and empower the organizations of tomorrow.”

pymetrics’ revolutionary AI behavioral soft skill assessments help enterprises build diverse teams of top performers by measuring behavior from cognitive and emotional attributes within an engaging candidate experience. By mitigating multiple forms of bias through an audited AI platform, pymetrics helps teams efficiently identify quality candidates, hire equitably, reduce turnover rate, and enhance overall talent performance through mobility, reskilling, and learning and development strategies.

Leveraging over 35 years of behavioral science and deep data insights, Harver is uniquely able to deliver high-quality hiring outcomes without compromising on speed. Whether enterprises are seeking to automate the hiring process, improve candidate experience, more effectively assess and match people to current and future roles, or streamline the reference checking process, Harver helps organizations make quality talent decisions efficiently.

“Harver and pymetrics have an incredible opportunity to reinvent the way talent decisions are made by creating a more effective and unbiased process across the talent lifecycle,” said Frida Polli, CEO and founder, pymetrics. “I’m thrilled about the unmatched value that our combined teams can deliver to our customers and excited to continue building upon our shared vision to unleash people’s true potential and then put it to work.”

“At AB InBev, we are constantly looking for ways to streamline and improve our hiring process as the world’s largest brewer to support our ever-growing global organization of over 630 brands in 150 countries,” said Shayla Turner, People Business Partner, AB InBev. “We utilize both Harver and pymetrics’ solutions to help us identify high-quality talent, efficiently and in a more fair manner. We trust both Harver and pymetrics to help us optimize our hiring decisions and are excited to see how they evolve and innovate together.”

For more information, please visit: https://harver.com/harver-acquires-pymetrics 

upGrad closes Investment round of USD 210 million

Mumbai, August 8, 2022: upGrad, Asia’s higher edtech major has announced a fresh round of fundraise from marquee investors and Family Offices who join the company cap-table.

This round has witnessed participation from ETS (the world’s largest TOEFL & GRE Test Leader), Bodhi Tree (a JV of James Murdoch & Uday Shankar), Singapore’s Kaizen Management Advisors Pvt. Ltd, Family office of Bharti Airtel, Narotam Sekhsaria Family Office (Ambuja Cements and ACC), and Artian Investments along with existing investors Temasek, IFC and IIFL.

“upGrad is a leader in digital reskilling and upskilling in India, and rapidly becoming a worldwide leader in this burgeoning education area,” said ETS Strategic Capital Managing Director Ralph Taylor-Smith. “We are excited to invest in, and partner with, upGrad to help accelerate its growth. India continues to be a priority country for ETS and we are dedicated to strategically increasing our footprint in this key market. Our partnership with upGrad will help to advance our shared mission of providing educational opportunities for all learners, in the South Asia region and around the globe.”

Founder Group also invested USD 12.5 million in this round to maintain their over 50% ownership in upGrad.

“We welcome our new investors and industry veterans to the upGrad cap table. There is a massive Re-skilling Revolution taking place around the world and over the last 5 years our 4800+ colleagues have worked hard & smart to be at the epicenter of taking advantage of this, not just in India but around the world. Higher EdTech will be on the rise for the next 4 to 5 decades. upGrad in the last 12 months has re-shaped itself to be the most integrated company in this space with career opportunities for the College learners and Working Professionals from the age of 18 to 58 and will be a LifeLongLearning partner for millions in the coming years. We have always been very capital efficient while growing 100% year-on-year and hope to retain that discipline,” said upGrad Co-founders, Ronnie Screwvala and Mayank Kumar in a joint statement while commenting on the fund raise.  

upGrad team strength will grow to 7600 from the present 4800 in the next 3 months and will also include about 170 full-time faculty, 1600 teachers, and over 5000 on-contract coaches and mentors, thereby building one of the largest full-time Edtech faculty in the world.

Bucking the slowdown trend within the sector, upGrad has remained bullish with its program completion rate of 80%+ and has emerged as a global leader in the higher education segment. 40% of the company’s total revenue is realised from Repeats and Referrals year-on-year.

About upGrad

upGrad – started in 2015 is a pioneer in the online education revolution, focused on powering career success for a global workforce of over 1.3 billion. It is one of the few Integrated LifeLongLearning Tech Companies in the world – spanning the college learner to the working professional from the age group of 18-50 years and across Undergrad courses, Campus & Job Linked Programs, Studying Abroad, short form to executive programs to Degrees, Masters and Doctoral – with a learner base of over 3 million across 100+ countries and over 300 University partners and a robust enterprise business with a client base of 1000 companies worldwide.

upGrad’s Global Learning Engine rests on four pillars – (a) its large repository of original & owned content and IP, (b) its own best-in-class proprietary tech platform, (c) it’s high touch human-led delivery service backed by coaches & mentors, and (d) an 85% course completion track record, backed by a further 80% career outcomes guaranteed performance.

Already termed Asia’s higher EdTech leader it has offices in the UK, U.S., Middle East, India, Singapore & Vietnam, and with a presence in many more countries.

Capti Wins $1M Grant to Bring ETS Reading Assessments to Market

Capti, an ETS Strategic Capital portfolio company, wins an IES SBIR Award to further develop and commercialize several diagnostic reading assessments developed at ETS

BUFFALO, N.Y. (PRWEB) JULY 19, 2022

Capti®, an ETS Strategic Capital portfolio company, today announced a $1 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences® (IES) to Capti and an ETS literacy research team. The award will support Capti and ETS in fully developing a suite of diagnostic reading assessments for use in schools, including the diagnostic ETS ReadBasix™ and ETS ReadAuthentix™ as part of Capti Assess — a next-generation reading assessment platform for students in grades 3 to 12. The award follows a $200K award in 2021 to develop a prototype the reading assessments.

“After almost two years of interrupted instruction, nearly two-thirds of K–12 students are not reading at a proficient level according to NAEP, which is a huge barrier, especially for those who are socially disadvantaged,” said Dr. Yevgen Borodin, CEO of Capti. “We are thrilled to be able to work with ETS and IES on this innovative product that will empower teachers to help their students become better readers.”

In the 21st century, many aspects of education have changed: how we learn to read, how we develop proficiency across the years of our schooling, what we read and how we read. These changes redefined the construct of “reading comprehension.” Research has also advanced our understanding of the science behind reading for comprehension. However, the design of most reading assessments used in U.S. schools has not evolved sufficiently to reflect these changes.

To address the need to improve reading assessments, in 2010 IES funded a $115 million Reading for Understanding (RfU) initiative. The RfU brought together researchers to develop new methods for assessing and improving reading. Products that resulted from the RfU under the Assessment strand of the initiative (R305F100005) were ReadBasix and ReadAuthentix assessments developed by ETS researchers.

“This work is a shining example of how public grant funding can be utilized to support innovative research and business partnerships to produce a product that meets the needs of underserved students,” said Colleen Caulfield, Executive Director, Business Development, ETS. “Together with Capti, we are proud to do our part to help to close the literacy gap exasperated by the pandemic by providing cutting edge educational resources to help students in need around our country.”

Leveraging the outcomes of RfU, ETS has supported Capti in successfully bringing to market its Capti Assess product with ReadBasix, a diagnostic assessment of foundational skills and basic reading comprehension. As part of the new SBIR Project, Capti will integrate ReadAuthentix, a unique scenario-based assessment of deep reading comprehension. Capti will use AI to integrate the results of multiple assessments into a single adaptive solution that will enable teachers to personalize reading assessment and focus on the skills that matter most.

At Capti, co-founders Dr. Yury Puzis (principal investigator and COO) and Dr. Yevgen Borodin (R&D Director and CEO) will lead the project; Brian Ash will provide product support. At ETS, researchers Zuowei Wang (principal investigator), Kelly Bruce, Jonathan Weeks and Tenaha O’Reilly will lead research efforts to deliver this grant; Laura Hullinger and John Kochanski will provide business support.

Link: https://www.prweb.com/releases/2022/07/prweb18785691.htm

Correctional EdTech Provider APDS Raises $7 Million in Series C, Seeking to Break the Cycle of Incarceration with Its Career Readiness Platform

Impact-driven ETS Strategic Capital & New Markets Venture Partners co-led financing round

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–APDS, a public-benefit corporation whose advanced career readiness platform helps incarcerated individuals attain a living wage after release, today announced that it has raised $7 million in new funding during the Series C round. The capital will allow the company to further scale its innovative services across correctional facilities nationwide while enhancing its proprietary learning platform, content offerings and strategic partnerships.

“APDS is poised to transform the correctional system. The momentum is growing across the country to rethink our society’s approach to incarceration and preparation for reentry. Just last month, the Biden administration promised $145 million to develop ’reentry plans’ for incarcerated persons. APDS has been a leader in this process through our Whole Human Framework approach to education,” said Harris Ferrell, APDS CEO. “We use our proprietary curriculum, assessments and plans to equip these individuals for long-term success. We can only accomplish this mission with dedicated investors who are double-bottom line oriented. This fundraising round will contribute directly toward continuing to develop our product, supporting the momentum of sales, and connecting our learners with the resources and support they need to obtain living wage jobs.”

APDS currently serves learners in more than 110 correctional facilities across 17 states. The rapid adoption of APDS is in part due to their learner-first business model. The company is the only dedicated correctional edtech provider that delivers technology and services for free to incarcerated learners.

ETS Strategic Capital, a division of ETS focused on equity investments, growth partnerships and mergers and acquisitions, co-lead the Series C round. ETS is aligned with APDS in their shared goal of advancing educational opportunities for all learners. ETS Strategic Capital invested $2 million into the Series C round to help further the group’s goal of breaking the cycle of incarceration through education and advancing ETS’s integration as an assessment partner.

“Our investment and role support the creation of innovative, quality educational opportunities for incarcerated people,” said Ralph Taylor-Smith, ETS Strategic Capital Managing Director, and incoming APDS board member. “We are excited to bring the power of assessment to APDS to drive second-chance opportunities, create new pathways for those reentering society and to reduce recidivism. Expanding access to quality education for all people is the heart of our mission at ETS and we are proud to partner with APDS to advance this shared goal.”

New Markets Venture Partners, focused on innovative technology-enabled, mission-driven companies driving sustainable social impact, co-leads the investment round.

“We are very excited to support APDS as it scales an increasingly efficacious solution to dramatically improve outcomes for returning citizens. The management team is best in class and APDS is exactly the type of high impact and commercially successful investment New Markets strives to enable,” stated Mark Grovic, General Partner, New Markets Venture Partners.

The APDS Series C round also saw the return of investments from Converge Venture Partners, ECMC Group’s Education Impact Fund, Juvo Ventures, the Partnership Fund for New York City, Rethink Education, and Strada Education Network. To date, APDS learners have a 20% increase in post incarceration employment. Students utilizing APDS have a 130% increase in high school equivalency (HSE) pass rates and are about 70% more likely to complete their post-release reentry plans than their peers, demonstrating a long-term reduction of recidivism through education.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220711005565/en/Correctional-EdTech-Provider-APDS-Raises-7-Million-in-Series-C-Seeking-to-Break-the-Cycle-of-Incarceration-with-Its-Career-Readiness-Platform

 

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/