Insight-backed Illuminate Education buys IO Education

Illuminate Education, a portfolio company of Insight Venture Partners, has acquired IO Education, a provider of SaaS-based student, data and professional management solutions that empower educators to improve educational outcomes for K-12 institutions. No financial terms were disclosed. Harris Williams & Co advised IO on the deal. IO was backed by LLR Partners.


RICHMOND, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Harris Williams & Co., a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide for more than 25 years, announces that it advised IO Education (IO), a portfolio company of LLR Partners (LLR), on its sale to Illuminate Education (Illuminate), a portfolio company of Insight Venture Partners (Insight). IO is a leading provider of SaaS-based student, data and professional management solutions that empower educators to improve educational outcomes for K-12 institutions. The transaction was led by Mike Wilkins, Andy Leed, Brian Titterington and John Mathias of Harris Williams & Co.’s Technology, Media & Telecom (TMT) Group.

“With the support of LLR, Michael Williamson and the IO team have built a fantastic business, continuously innovating and investing in its platform to become a leader in K-12 data analytics and assessments,” said Mike Wilkins, a managing director at Harris Williams & Co. “We continue to see strong interest across the broader education technology sector, and IO represents the firm’s seventh closed transaction in the sector in the past 24 months.”

“IO’s value proposition is hard to ignore, especially as educators seek to better integrate student and classroom data into their daily workflows,” added Andy Leed, a vice president at Harris Williams & Co. “We’re proud to have worked with an exceptional management team on this transaction and excited to see the combined companies continue to innovate and disrupt the broader edtech landscape.”

As a leader in the education technology industry for over 18 years, IO is on a mission to empower educators through data to improve educational outcomes. The solutions from IO are used in all 50 states by over 7,500 schools and 120,000 educators, supporting instruction for over 5,000,000 students. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

LLR is a lower-middle market private equity firm committed to creating long-term value by growing its portfolio companies. LLR invests in a targeted set of industries, with a focus on technology and services businesses. Founded in 1999 and with more than $3 billion raised across five funds, LLR is a flexible provider of capital for growth, recapitalizations and buyouts.

Illuminate is a provider of educational technology and services offering innovative data, assessment and student information solutions. Serving K-12 schools, Illuminate’s cloud-based software and services currently assist more than 1,600 school districts in promoting student achievement and success. The company is headquartered in Irvine, California.

Insight is a leading global venture capital and private equity firm investing in high-growth technology and software companies that are driving transformative change in their industries. Founded in 1995, Insight has raised more than $18 billion and invested in over 300 companies worldwide. Insight’s mission is to find, fund and work successfully with visionary executives, providing them with practical, hands-on growth expertise to foster long-term success. Across the firm’s people and portfolio, Insight encourages a culture that is situated upon a core belief: growth equals opportunity.

Harris Williams & Co. (, a subsidiary of the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:PNC), is a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide. The firm has deep industry knowledge, global transaction expertise, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Harris Williams & Co. provides sell-side and acquisition advisory, restructuring advisory, board advisory, private placements, and capital markets advisory services.

Harris Williams & Co.’s TMT Group advises leading private and public companies, entrepreneurs, private equity firms, and venture capital firms on mergers and acquisitions and capital-raising transactions worldwide. The TMT Group has deep domain expertise in the Software/SaaS and Internet & Digital Media segments, with particular emphasis on specific verticals including education technology, data analytics, energy technology, fintech, public sector, and supply chain/logistics—with a dedicated healthcare technology (HCIT) practice. Across verticals, the firm also advises technology services and networking solutions businesses. For more information on the TMT Group and its recent transactions, visit the TMT Group’s section of the Harris Williams & Co. website.

Investment banking services are provided by Harris Williams LLC, a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC, and Harris Williams & Co. Ltd, which is a private limited company incorporated under English law with its registered office at 5th Floor, 6 St. Andrew Street, London EC4A 3AE, UK, registered with the Registrar of Companies for England and Wales (registration number 07078852). Harris Williams & Co. Ltd is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Harris Williams & Co. is a trade name under which Harris Williams LLC and Harris Williams & Co. Ltd conduct business.