K-12 Dealmaking: Reach Capital Partners Raises $215M Fund; Renaissance Completes Acquisition

Staff Writer
K-12 dealmaking

Reach Capital Partners raised $215 million in its fourth fund, a pool of capital aimed at investing in companies focused on education and economic mobility, the venture firm announced.

The venture capital firm, founded in 2011, invests in early stage ed-tech startups, with portfolio companies that include well-known organizations in the market like ClassDojo, Nearpod, Newsela, and Paper.

With the fourth fund, the firm is focused on investing in companies addressing some of the major issues facing education, including challenges facing K-12 districts, rising costs for child care and higher education, and the need for upskilling existing workers.

The majority of the fund’s backers are institutional investors, Reach Partner and Co-founder Jennifer Carolan said in a post announcing the news. They include public pension funds and hospital and university endowments. The makeup of investors has shifted from the firm’s earlier fundraising rounds, with its first fund largely backed by tech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from Silicon Valley.

In addition to the firm’s fourth fund, Carolan announced the debut of a Reach Founders Fund, a sidecar fund fueled by 48 current or former founders in Reach’s portfolio. Its goals will mirror the fourth fund’s investments.

“The addition of the Founders’ Fund will accelerate learning between our past and present founders — through board seats, talent networks, and sourcing — and further strengthen the Reach community and the broader ed-tech sector,” Carolan said in the post.

The firm has been in the process of expanding it’s geographic scope as well. It aims to build on existing footholds in Latin America and Europe.

“In our mission to improve lives through education, we’ve just scratched the surface,” she said.

Renaissance closes acquisition of U.K.-based assessment company. Renaissance announced it has completed its acquisition of GL Education, a deal the companies first outlined in February.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition will bring London-based GL Education’s formative assessments, used in more than 100 countries, into Renaissance’s existing instructional and assessment offerings.

GL was founded in 1980 to provide assessments to students in the U.K. and Ireland and has since expanded its reach globally to include Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.

“GL Education’s mission has always been to enable every child to realize their full potential,” GL Education Chief Executive Greg Watson said in a statement. The deal will allow the two companies to “support school leaders all over the world in developing and tailoring an educational experience that is as unique as their students are.

Pairing GL’s formative assessments with Renaissance’s suite of products will “further empower our educators and help leaders leverage data to make meaningful change based on each individual students’ needs,” Renaissance CEO Chris Bauleke said in a statement.

Image by Getty

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