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PE-backed Blackboard to acquire Schoolwires

Blackboard, which is backed by Providence Equity Partners, has agreed to buy Schoolwires, an educational website for K-12 schools and districts. No financial terms were disclosed. The deal is slated to close later this year.


WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Today Blackboard Inc. announced a definitive agreement to acquire Schoolwires, one of the leading educational website, hosting and content management providers to K-12 schools and districts. The acquisition of Schoolwires will better position Blackboard to improve the student experience through an unmatched combination of K-12 solutions and services focused on communication and engagement.

Following the acquisition of ParentLink last year, today’s announcement represents the next step in Blackboard’s plan to provide a comprehensive set of solutions that address the needs of all K-12 stakeholders including students, teachers, parents and administrators. It also will help Blackboard deliver on its strategy to offer technology innovations that help prepare students with the necessary experience and skills for higher education and job success.

Schoolwires provides a suite of technology products and related services to more than 11 million users and 1,700 districts and educational entities in the U.S. and China. Its solutions include an integrated website and content management system, a social learning and networking system, a family of mobile applications and an enterprise technology platform. Through this acquisition, Blackboard will further establish its position as a leading provider of school websites and parent notification solutions.

“Now, more than ever before, we are aggressively driving toward our mission of advancing students’ education journey and positioning them for success across their lifelong learning experience, which begins at the K-12 level,” said Jay Bhatt, CEO of Blackboard. “An informed and engaged K-12 community is the foundation for improved teaching and learning, and school websites and apps are the natural way that process begins each day. With Schoolwires, we will help schools meet the evolving needs of their community and improve outcomes for their students.”

“Today’s news marks a great milestone for Schoolwires and we couldn’t be more excited to join the Blackboard team,” said Christiane Crawford, president and CEO of Schoolwires. “We are eager to merge these two industry-leading teams and continue our pursuit of helping students be more successful, improving the educational experience in K-12, and investing in the future of this industry.”

Blackboard has provided website hosting and content management solutions for school and district websites since it merged with Edline in 2011. The addition of Schoolwires’ best-in-class solutions and apps will enhance Blackboard’s parent and community engagement solutions, advance the company’s overall strategy for K-12, and expand its partner ecosystem.

Subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close later this year.

For more information about Blackboard, please visit or follow @Blackboard on Twitter.

About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard is the world’s leading education technology company. We challenge conventional thinking and advance new models of learning in order to reimagine education and make it more accessible, engaging and relevant to the modern day learner and the institutions that serve them. In partnership with our customers and partners in higher education and K-12 as well as corporations and government agencies around the world, our mission is to help every learner achieve their full potential by inspiring a passion for lifelong learning. For more information about Blackboard, follow us on Twitter @Blackboard.