Cherry Tree & Associates | March 2018 | Volume XII, Issue 9
Renaissance Acquires myON

Renaissance, a provider of K-12 educational software and learning analytics solutions, acquired myON, a digital literacy solutions provider, from Francisco Partners. Terms were not disclosed.

Read more
Baring Private Equity Asia and CITIC Capital Complete Acquisition of Wall Street English

Baring Private Equity Asia and CITIC Capital, both alternative investment firms, completed their acquisition of Wall Street English, a provider of English language training services for adults, for $300 million from Pearson.
Health & Safety Institute Acquires Vivid Learning Systems

Health & Safety Institute, a provider of safety training and compliance systems, acquired Vivid Learning Systems, an online safety training provider. Terms were not disclosed.

Read more
Agile Investment Group Acquires LightSail Education

Agile Investment Group, a Belize-based private equity firm, acquired LightSail Education, a New York-based K-12 literacy application developer. Terms were not disclosed.
Tarena International Agrees to Acquire Wuhan Haoxiaozi Robot Technology Co.

Tarena International, a provider of professional educational services in China, agreed to acquire Haoxiaozi Robot Technology Co., a China-based provider of K-12 robotics education services. Terms were not disclosed.
Babilou Acquires Majority Stake in Amelio Early Education

Babilou, France's largest private daycare provider, acquired a majority stake in Amelio Early Education, an India-based operator of fourteen pre-schools. Terms were not disclosed.
Degreed Raises $42 Million

Degreed, a learning platform for professionals, raised $42 million in a Series C round led by Owl Ventures and Jump Capital. Founders Circle Capital, GSV Acceleration Fund, and Signal Peak Ventures also participated.

Read more
Skilljar Raises $16.4 Million

Skilljar, an online customer training platform, raised $16.4 million in a Series A round. Mayfield Fund, Shasta Ventures, and Trilogy Equity Partners participated in the round. To date, Skilljar has raised $20.1 million.

Read more
Ponddy Education Raises $6 Million

Ponddy Education, a developer of AI-based language learning technology, raised $6 million. The Series A round was led by Chenco Holding Company, and also included Osnaburge Ventures and MIC Ponddy AR Fund.

Read more
Skyview Capital Acquires from Staples

Skyview Capital, a Los Angeles-based private investment firm, acquired, a provider of school supply kit solutions for elementary and middle schools, from Staples. Terms were not disclosed.

Read more
Stone Point Capital Acquires Grace Hill

Stone Point Capital, a Connecticut-based private equity firm, acquired Grace Hill, an online education and learning management solution for multifamily housing professionals, from The Riverside Company. Terms were not disclosed.

Read more
SAE International Acquires Online Courses from CALISO

SAE International, a provider of technical learning for the mobility industry, acquired CALISO’s portfolio of forty-two online environmental and safety courses. Terms were not disclosed.
Omnigo Software Acquires 360° Stay Safe

Omnigo Software, a provider of public safety software, acquired 360° Stay Safe, a personal safety online training platform for higher education institutions. Terms were not disclosed.
TCV Acquires Controlling Stake in Watermark

TCV, a provider of growth capital, acquired a controlling interest in Watermark, a provider of assessment software for higher education institutions. Terms were not disclosed.
17zuoye Raises $250 Million

Sunny Education, the China-based provider of 17zuoye, an online K-12 education platform, raised $250 million. The Series E round was led by Temasek Holdings, with CITIC Private Equity Funds Management and Shunwei Capital also participating.

Read more
Kahoot! Raises $17 Million

Kahoot!, a Norway-based company known for its game-based educational quiz platform, raised $17 million. The Series B round was led by Datum Invest AS, Northzone, Creandum, Microsoft Ventures, and Kahoot! Chairman Eilert Hanoa.
Kiddom Raises $15 Million

Kiddom, a collaborative learning platform for teachers, raised $15 million in a Series B round led by Owl Ventures. Khosla Ventures also participated. Kiddom previously raised $6.5 million in a Series A round in March 2017.

Read more
Tech Will Save Us Raises $4.2 Million

Tech Will Save Us, a U.K.-based startup that creates STEM-based toys for children, raised $4.2 million in a Series A round led by Initial Capital. Backed VC, SaatchInvest, All Bright, Unltd-inc, Leaf VC, and several angel investors also participated.

Read more
For-profit education comprises more than 5% of the roughly $1.3 trillion that is spent on education in the U.S. annually. Cherry Tree created the Education For-Profit 50 Index representing a group of publicly traded for-profit education companies. 
The For-Profit Education 50 Index consists of companies in the Pre-K-12, Postsecondary Education, Training and Development, and Education Products and Services segments for-profit education industry.
* EV= Enterprise Value

We continue to watch the proliferation of mobile devices in the education market, and noted the Wall Street Journal’s recent article on Apple’s efforts to regain its share in the market it once led. After steady years of declines for Apple, mainly at the expense of the Google Chromebook, market share for those two and Microsoft stabilized in 2017 at 59% for Google, 22% for Microsoft, and 19% for Apple. Our impression based on conversations is that prices had temporarily stabilized after years of declines in Chromebook prices, which may have been the cause.

That stabilization in hardware pricing looks like it could change. In addition to Apple’s new iPad launch and a specific pricing discount to target education, Microsoft recently announced several initiatives including a sub-$200 Windows-based Lenovo device, and other initiatives to its products and platforms to “offer students and teachers a richer, more varied experience.” Apple and Microsoft are both seeking to challenge Google’s lead in devices and its strong position in platforms and applications. Industry analysts expect the competition to intensify, and we agree. This will have implications for a variety of hardware, software, publishing, and distributor vendors in the marketplace.
For a confidential conversation about your company's strategic alternatives for exiting, merging, acquiring, or obtaining venture financing, and how trends in education affect your prospects, please contact us at 952-893-9012

Prepared by:
Chad Johnson, Managing Director | 952.253.6010

Cherry Tree & Associates is a private investment banking firm headquartered in Minneapolis. Our firm specializes in serving middle market companies and their owners, whether private, public, or divisions of larger corporations.
Important Disclosures

The information included in this publication has been obtained from public sources, and is not based upon private or confidential Cherry Tree information. Cherry Tree gathers its data from sources it considers reliable. However, it does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided within this publication. Any opinions presented reflect the current judgment of the authors and are subject to change. Cherry Tree makes no warranties, expressed or implied, regarding the accuracy of this information or any opinions expressed by the authors. Officers, directors, partners of Cherry Tree and Cherry Tree proprietary investment funds may have positions in the securities of the companies discussed, and certain affiliates of Cherry Tree may recommend to specific clients the purchase and sale of securities discussed in the publication. This publication does not constitute a recommendation with respect to the securities of any company discussed herein, and it should not be construed as such. Cherry Tree or its affiliates may from time to time provide investment banking or related services to these companies. Like all Cherry Tree employees, the authors of this publication receive compensation that is affected by overall firm profitability. We undertake no obligation to update any information in this publication.  

The Education For-Profit (EFP) 50 Index is a hypothetical index, and does not reflect an actual investment portfolio. Comparisons between the EFP 50 Index and the S&P 500 are for illustrative purposes only. Correlations in performance information for the EFP 50 Index and the S&P 500 should not be relied upon as indicative of risks involved in owning or holding a portfolio of securities similar to the EFP 50 Index. Past performance should not be relied upon as indicative of future performance.