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US: Class Technologies acquires Blackboard Collaborate

Washington DC-based Class Technologies, which adds teaching and learning tools to virtual and hybrid classrooms on Zoom, has acquired ed tech Blackboard Collaborate, which will now be known as Class Collaborate.

Class raised a combination of equity and debt from new and existing investors to finance the acquisition, including SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Insight Partners, Salesforce Ventures, Owl Ventures, Emergence Capital, Educational Testing Services, Arizona State University, Maven Ventures, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Fund, SWaN & Legend, Chimera Investment, Sound Ventures, Catalysis Capital Management, Guy Oseary, Bill Tai, and American football quarterback and entrepreneur Tom Brady.

Michael Chasen, co-founder and chief executive of Class said: “Educators and learners expect innovative and advanced solutions that enhance the online and hybrid learning experience. With this combination, we’ve brought together the industry’s leading educators and technologists to meet this expectation and deliver the next generation of online learning.”

Blackboard Collaborate became part of the Anthology product suite following Anthology’s merger with Blackboard last year. Class and Anthology will now partner to build a tight integration between Blackboard Learn and Class products. The aim is “to bring together the best of both products to develop a learning platform that can support the various ways in which institutions want to engage in synchronous learning now and into the future”.

Jim Milton, chairman and chief executive at Anthology, said: “Anthology’s partnership with Class creates new opportunities for our clients to improve learning outcomes and experiences for their students. Institutions are preparing to meet learner needs as they continue to shift in the years ahead. A flexible virtual learning environment that’s rooted in data and proven pedagogical methods is exactly what they need to help their faculty and students succeed long term.”

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