Cherry Tree & Associates | September 2020 | Volume XV, Issue 3
SELECTED NEWS
Carnegie Learning Acquire Scientific Learning

Scientific Learning, a leader in evidence-based online reading and language software, has announced that it has been acquired by Carnegie Learning, a provider of artificial intelligence solutions in the education and formative assessment market. The transaction valued Scientific Learning at $15 million in an all-cash merger.  

Cherry Tree & Associates advised Scientific Learning in their sale to Carnegie Learning. 

in.news.yahoo.com
Adtalem Acquires Walden University for $1.48 Billion

Adtalem, a workforce solution provider, has announced that it will acquire Walden University, an online healthcare education provider for $1.48 billion in cash. Adtalem states that the acquisition will be the next step in its transformation to a leading workforce solutions provider in the healthcare industry. 

businesswire.com
Eruditus Raises $113 Million in Series D

Eruditus, an organization that works with universities across the global to provide executive-level courses, has announced that it has raised $113 million in a Series D financing round. The round was co-led by Leeds Illuminate and Prosus Ventures, with additional participation from Sequoia India, Ved Capital, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Eruditus will use the capital to increase its number of university partners and expand to new markets.  

techcrunch.com
Kahoot! Acquires Actimo

Kahoot!, a global learning company, has announced that it has acquired Actimo, an engagement platform for employees that enables organizations to develop their corporate culture. The acquisition will expand and enhance Kahoot!’s workplace offerings.

prnewswire.com
LRN Corporation Acquires Interactive Services

LRN Corporation, an education technology company that provides solutions focused on ethics and compliance, has announced that it has acquired Interactive Services, an online, compliance learning platform. The combined business will provide even more in-depth ethical and compliance learning solutions for companies navigating the complex legal and regulatory operating environments across the globe.

globenewswire.com
Six Red Marbles Acquires Triple SSS Press

Six Red Marbles, a platform of online courses and custom interactive medica experiences, has announced that it has acquired Triple SSS Press Media Development, Inc. Triple SSS Press provides printing and online content/courseware development services for the educational content industry. 

prweb.com
ACTO Acquires Scrimmage

ACTO, an omichannel education and engagement platform for the life sciences vertical, has announced that it has acquired Scrimmage, a provider of mobile learning solutions. The acquisition emboldens ACTO has a leader in the education market for life sciences with over 100 clients, including seven of the top 20 life sciences companies and six of the top 20 medical device companies.

prnewswire.com
QuickStart Raises $10 Million

QuickStart, a platform of IT skills workforce readiness and certification training offerings, has announced that it has raised $10 million in growth capital. The company states that it will use the funding to scale access to its bootcamp and certification programs. 

prnewswire.com
Valenture Raises $7 Million

Valenture, a South African-based edtech start-up, has announced that it has raised $7 million in funding. The company plans to use the funds to help fuel global expansion and enhance its existing products. The capital was invested by GSV Ventures, a venture capital firm that focuses on the education market.

ventureburn.com
Empath Raises $1 Million in Seed Funding

Empath, a start-up that provides corporate employees with a view of their current skillset and what additional skillsets they need to develop in order to give them opportunities to move up in their organization, has raised $ 1 million in seed funding from B Capital. B Capital is an investment firm that was launched jointly by the Boston Consulting Group, Subversive Capital, and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.

techcrunch.com
School Specialty, Inc. Recapitalizes Business

School Specialty, a provider of educational products and services, has announced that substantially all its assets have been acquired by an entity formed by Cerberus Capital Management, TCW Asset Management Company, and Lantern Capital Partners. The transaction resulted in a reduction in debt and strong liquidity position supported by a new $115 million credit facility provided by PNC Bank.

prnewswire.com
Providence Equity and 2nd Wave Software Acquire Aztec and Paxen Publishing

2nd Wave Software, a Minnesota-based private equity firm that invests in software companies, and Providence Equity’s Strategic Growth Fund, have acquired Aztec Software and Paxen Publishing. Aztec is a provider of high-quality educational software solutions and Paxen Publishing is a web-based learning management system provider for adults seeking to pursue continued education remotely. 
Unacademy Raises $150 Million in Series F

Unacademy, an India-based start-up that helps students prepare for competitive exams to get into college, has announced that it has raised $150 million through a Series F funding round. The round was led by SoftBank Group with additional participation from Facebook, Blume Ventures, Nexus Partners, General Atlantic, and Sequoia Capital. The Series F round valued the company at a post-money valuation of $1.45 Billion and brings the total capital raised by Unacademy to approximately $350 million. 

techcrunch.com
Boxlight Acquires Sahara Presentation Systems for $95 Million

Boxlight (Nasdaq:BOXL), a global provider of interactive education technology solutions, has announced that it has acquired Sahara Presentation Systems, a distributor and manufacturer of AV solutions. The total purchase price for Sahara was approximately $95 million in cash and preferred stock.

businesswire.com
EducationDynamics Acquires the Assets of QuinStreet’s Higher Education Segment

EducationDynamics, a provider of higher education marketing and enrollment management services, has announced that it has acquired the assets of QuinStreet’s higher education segment. The higher education segment consisted of QuinStreet’s network of digital publishers and portfolio of higher education related URLs.

prnewswire.com
Renovus Sells Education Management Solutions

Renovus Capital Partners, a private equity firm with an investment focus on educational and technology services, has announced that sale of one of its portfolio companies, Education Management Solutions to Collegis Education. The transaction will combine learning technology products and solutions spanning all aspects of higher education.     

prnewswire.com
Colibri Group Acquires HomeCEU

Colibri Group, a learning solution provider for licensed professionals, has announced that it has acquired HomeCEU, a continuing education platform for healthcare professionals with an emphasis in therapy professions. Colibri Group is a portfolio company of Gridiron Capital, an investment firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs, and management teams. 

gridironcapital.com
SketchyMedical Raises $30 Million

SketchyMedical, a provider of online visual learning solutions that help students and professionals, has announced that it has received a majority investment from TCG for $30 million. The company will use the funds raised to increase growth and develop an in-house studio for new content creation.  

businesswire.com
Entity Academy Raises $10 Million

Entity Academy, an edtech company that provides female-focused training in digital market, data science, and other future focused skills, has announced that it has raised $10 million in capital. Entity has stated that it will use the new funds to expand its audience and help females achieve their professional potential.

prnewswire.com
Edsby Raises CAD $5 Million in Series A

Edsby, a digital learning platform for the K-12 education market, has announced that it has raised CAD $5.3 million in funding through a Series A round. The round was led by Chris Besse, an education technology executive, and included participation from MindAngler Capital, Byye Management, and XDL Capital Group. 

betakit.com
CHERRY TREE EDUCATION FOR-PROFIT 50 INDEX
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
MONTHLY COMMENTARY
Video calls are better than telephone calls, and video panels are better than no conferences at all, but I have to say I miss meeting with clients, prospective clients, and industry friends and contact all across the country. Like many of you though, we do the best we can, to keep calm and carry on.

Recently we were asked to participate in a video-based panel discussion with the topic, “Preparing for an Exit.” Because we often get the question, “what can I do to prepare?”, we thought we would share the YouTube link with our Education Capital Markets newsletter subscribers. Viewers will not only get the benefit of the investment banker’s perspective, but also the benefit of a seasoned M&A attorney, a commercial banker, and a consultant who has spent decades working with early stage companies.

We hope you find the panel discussion helpful, keeping in mind that the best advice can only be given after a careful review of your unique situation. For a confidential discussion 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 Partner
cjohnson@cherrytree.com | 952.253.6010

Follow me on Twitter @ChadEricJohnson


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.