What Are the Biggest Exits in EdTech?
In this comprehensive overview, we’ve gathered insights from eight Founders and a Co-Founder and COO to highlight the most monumental exits and acquisitions in the EdTech space. From CreatiTech’s billion-dollar acquisition of LearnEasy to the multi-billion dollar sale of Ellucian, these industry leaders provide a window into the high-stakes world of educational technology mergers.
- CreatiTech Acquires LearnEasy for $1.8B
- Vista Equity Buys Pluralsight for $3.5B
- Microsoft’s $26.2B LinkedIn Acquisition
- LinkedIn Expands With Lynda.com Purchase
- Perdoceo Acquires Coding Dojo for $50M
- Byju’s $1B Aakash Educational Takeover
- Harbinger Group Buys AI Platform Quillionz
- Ellucian’s $3.5B Sale to TPG and LGP
CreatiTech Acquires LearnEasy for $1.8B
In the EdTech world, there’s a hidden gem known as “LearnEasy.” It was a small startup founded by a group of passionate educators who developed an innovative platform for teaching coding to kids. Surprisingly, “CreatiTech,” a toy company known for its educational products, acquired LearnEasy for $1.8 billion.
This unexpected union between toys and tech education had a profound impact, leading to the creation of engaging, hands-on coding kits for children worldwide. It’s a testament to the unexpected synergies that can arise in the ever-evolving EdTech landscape.
Vista Equity Buys Pluralsight for $3.5B
Reflecting on the EdTech landscape, one monumental exit stands out—the acquisition of Pluralsight by Vista Equity Partners in 2020. Valued at $3.5 billion, this transformative deal spotlighted the thriving potential in the EdTech sector.
It underscores the industry’s capacity for growth and innovation, setting an inspiring precedent for startups like SoFlo to push boundaries and redefine educational landscapes.
Microsoft’s $26.2B LinkedIn Acquisition
One of the biggest exits in the EdTech industry was Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. This acquisition helped Microsoft boost its presence in the social networking market and job search facilities.
Significantly, LinkedIn has more than 300 million users and has become one of the largest platforms for social networking worldwide. Importantly, this acquisition also benefited Microsoft by giving it access to the user data and content of LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Expands With Lynda.com Purchase
There was a startup in Carpinteria called Lynda.com that was one of the oldest and most successful EdTech companies. It was an online course provider. LinkedIn bought it for $1.5 billion in 2015 and used its technology to add its online course offerings to its social network.
Perdoceo Acquires Coding Dojo for $50M
One of the biggest developments in the EdTech industry lately is the acquisition of Coding Dojo by Perdoceo for over $50 million. Coding Dojo is an online bootcamp operator that trains software engineers in computer programming, data science, cybersecurity, and other technologies.
This acquisition signals the movement away from traditional colleges and universities toward alternative, online education options. In recent years, traditional higher education sources have had a difficult time filling the demand for technology-oriented jobs, which has led to rapid growth in the online bootcamp market.
Byju’s $1B Aakash Educational Takeover
One of the largest acquisitions in EdTech was Byju’s acquisition of Aakash Educational Services for nearly $1 billion in April 2021. Aakash is a brick-and-mortar test prep company in India that helps students prepare for medical and engineering entrance exams.
The deal allowed Byju’s, an online education startup valued at over $15 billion, to expand its offline presence. It demonstrated the massive growth and consolidation happening in Indian EdTech, as companies aim to provide an omnichannel learning experience.
This landmark deal highlighted the emergence of India as a leading global EdTech hub and the vast opportunities that remain in making quality education accessible and affordable for all students.
Harbinger Group Buys AI Platform Quillionz
One such example is the acquisition of Quillionz by Harbinger Group, an e-learning solutions supplier. In 2019, Quillionz, a platform that employs artificial intelligence to produce quiz questions from text, was bought. Though the financial details were not as widely publicized as larger acquisitions, this transaction shows how unique, niche EdTech solutions can find strategic value.
Harbinger Group was able to strengthen its e-learning capabilities with automated content generation as a result of the acquisition, demonstrating the value of specialized technologies within the broader education technology ecosystem. These less-publicized acquisitions are critical to diversifying and boosting the skills of existing EdTech firms.
Ellucian’s $3.5B Sale to TPG and LGP
Talking about big moves in the EdTech world, the acquisition of Ellucian by TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners in 2015 was huge. They paid a whopping US $3.5 billion for it. Ellucian, already a big name in tech solutions tailored for higher education, received this investment from TPG and Leonard Green. They bought the majority stake from JMI Equity and Hellman & Friedman.
Ellucian is known for its critical software services that help universities and colleges manage their systems better. They focus on ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software, which is key for the complex needs of higher education. The idea behind this big buy was to push Ellucian into more cloud-based services, expand what they offer, and make student information systems even better. TPG and Leonard Green saw this as a chance to boost Ellucian’s impact in the education sector.