Educational Testing Service (ETS), the world’s largest educational testing non-profit, dipped further into educational technology with its $2 million investment in an accelerator operated with LearnLaunch.
ETS Accelerate will focus on startups addressing future job skills, as well as companies serving the over 1 billion speakers of English as a second language. ETS, provider of exams including the GRE and PRAXIS, had been working with LearnLaunch for the past year.
“Our experience was very positive and we are now taking it to the next level by becoming the primary LP in a new $2 million fund to increase the impact and value we all can offer to educational institutions, other edtech companies and individual learners,” Richard Varn, ETS’ Venture Partner Lead, told Karma.
- ETS, founded in 1947, is relative newcomer to edutech. The company acquired English language learning startup Edusoft in 2011 and exam provider Questar in 2017. In February, it also invested $50,000 in both Knack, a tutoring marketplace, and NurseDash, a healthcare staffing platform.
- Other testing companies have also been late to edutech investing. College Board, which is behind the SAT and standardized AP tests in U.S. high schools, isn’t currently investing in private equity or venture capital, according to Pitchbook.
- ACT has been the most aggressive, either investing in or acquiring 11 companies since 2013. Tech-focused firms like Cengage Learning are ahead: Cengage has invested in or acquired 25 companies since 1992, and in May announced its merger with McGraw-Hill.
- Karma Takeaway: The rapid integration of technology in standard curriculum is forcing established companies to invest in edutech and keep pace with tech-savvy students.