Vista Equity Buys Essential Learning

Vista Equity Partners has acquired San Diego-based Essential Learning, a provider of interactive e-learning software for behavioral and community health, substance abuse, corrections, developmental disability and child welfare organizations. Terms were not released.


Essential Learning, LLC (“Essential Learning”), the leading provider of interactive e-learning solutions for behavioral and community health, substance abuse, corrections, developmental disability and child welfare organizations throughout North America today announced that it has been acquired by Vista Equity Partners (“Vista”), a private equity firm with $6 billion in committed capital.


“We are excited to have found a great partner in Vista to help us grow our business further for the benefit of our customers and the markets we serve,” said Susan Erskine, Co-Founder and CEO of Essential Learning. “The breadth of operational experience that Vista brings to the table will help position Essential Learning for the future as we continue to provide leading e-learning solutions.” Essential Learning’s senior management team will continue to lead the organization. In addition, after an exciting and successful career, Lorraine Watson, Co-Founder and President of Essential Learning, will be retiring as planned with succession planning already underway.


Essential Learning provides market-leading e-learning solutions for organizations with regulatory training requirements and continuing education needs. Essential Learning training content is developed in collaboration with leading national and state associations and subject matter experts, affording clients convenient and affordable access to relevant, current and impactful curricula on clinical, human services, workforce development and compliance topics. Training assignment, reporting and tracking features of our LMS enable organizations to simplify training management overall, and to effectively document compliance with many of the requirements of funding and regulatory bodies.


“We are thrilled to be partnering with Essential Learning, a company that has clearly demonstrated expertise in helping its customers achieve success meeting their e-learning needs,” said Alan Cline, Principal and Co-Head of Vista Equity Partners Foundation Fund. “Essential Learning fits our investment and operating profile and we are tremendously excited to help the Essential Learning team continue to grow their business.”


St. Charles Capital, a national middle-market investment banking firm focused on mergers and acquisitions and private capital raising for technology, healthcare, financial services, and diversified industries companies, advised Essential Learning on the transaction.


About Essential Learning


Essential Learning was founded in 2002 by former healthcare executives with extensive clinical and administrative experience in the behavioral health industry. Essential Learning has grown to become the leading provider of interactive e-learning solutions to behavioral and community health, substance abuse, corrections, developmental disability and child welfare service organizations throughout North America. Essential Learning’s solutions address the training and continuing education needs of its clients that range from less than 10 to over 10,000 employees. For further information please visit .


About Vista Equity Partners


Vista Equity Partners, a U.S. based private equity firm with offices in San Francisco, Chicago and Austin, currently invests approximately $6 billion in capital committed to dynamic, successful technology-based organizations led by world-class management teams with long-term perspective. Vista is a value-added investor, contributing professional expertise and multi-level support towards companies realizing their full potential. Vista’s investment approach is anchored by a sizable long-term capital base, experience in structuring technology-oriented transactions, and proven management techniques that yield flexibility and opportunity in private equity investing.