Apple Acquires Student Analytics Startup, LearnSprout

Mergers and Acquisitions

Apple Acquires Student Analytics Startup, LearnSprout

By Blake Montgomery and Tony Wan     Jan 28, 2016

Apple Acquires Student Analytics Startup, LearnSprout

Apple has acquired LearnSprout, a San Francisco-based startup that develops APIs and other tools that make student data from school information systems (SIS) more readily accessible.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But the acquisition is likely linked to Apple’s recent updates to its operating system for education users. Among the new features announced was an integration that allows school administrators to pull data from their SIS to create and manage Apple IDs for students.

LearnSprout launched in 2012 as a graduate of Imagine K12 edtech accelerator. At the time, the startup offered an API to help edtech developers connect with K-12 school information systems to create accounts and pass information. That service directly competed with Clever, another San Francisco startup launched that same year and which now claims usage in more than 44,000 K-12 schools in the U.S.

In the summer of 2013, LearnSprout pivoted: It sunsetted its API service for developers, focusing instead on surfacing data about students’ attendance, grades, and other school activities captured in the SIS. One of the purposes of collecting and displaying this data was to create an early warning system to help educators identify at-risk students.

Neither company responded to requests for comments. An Apple spokesman told Bloomberg that “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” According to Jessica Lessin, founder of The Information, the deal happened last July.

LearnSprout had raised $4.7 million from investors that include Andreessen Horowitz, Formation 8 and Samsung Ventures.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with more information about LearnSprout and Apple’s recent iOS updates.



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