Class Technologies, synchronous virtual classroom space company, and Anthology, education solutions provider, signed a definitive agreement for Class to acquire Anthology’s Blackboard Collaborate virtual classroom tool.
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 Tom Brady.
“COVID forced millions of learners and instructors online overnight and fundamentally changed the face of education and training. 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,” said Michael Chasen, co-founder and CEO of Class.
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 supports the global education community.
“Learner expectations have shifted and education is experiencing transformational change that calls for a renewed focus on pedagogical best practices. 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،” said Jim Milton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Anthology.
Class Technologies will fully support 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 transaction, which is subject to customary conditions and approvals, is expected to close in Q2 of 2022. After closing, Blackboard Collaborate will be known as Class Collaborate.
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