ENGRADE: McGraw-Hill Education has agreed to buy Santa Monica, CA-based Engrade for an undisclosed amount. Engrade provides an online platform that helps K-12 schools track and organize grades, attendance, curriculum, and assessments across different service providers. Engrade last raised a $5 million Series B round in July 2013, and has now raised $8 million total. More details in the press release.
McGraw-Hill plans to integrate the Engrade's data unifying technologies for its digital products, something that the publisher already started doing two years ago as one of Engrade's third-party content providers. "McGraw-Hill is aggressively moving into the digital world," says Posner. Since McGraw-Hill got a new owner--Apollo Global Management--back in March 2013, the company has shown a willingness to spend. The company acquired math company, ALEKS, in June 2013, and its new CEO, David Levin, has shown a penchant for wheeling and dealing.
That established publishers like McGraw-Hill and Pearson are acquiring companies is "an amazing sign" for edtech startups, says Posner. "If you're a mission-driven startup and you want to share your vision with as many people as possible, these entrenched companies [like McGraw-Hill] have all the right distribution channels," says Posner.
Engrade will maintain its offices in Santa Monica, CA. The team will join McGraw-Hill but will continue operating as an "independent company," Posner assures. "We will continue working with other third-party developers and continue to operate as we did two weeks before."