EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Global eLearning Innovator OpenSesame has Received $50 Million Strategic Growth Investment from JMI Equity and Existing Investors

OpenSesame | July 28, 2021

OpenSesame, a market-leading SaaS global e-learning pioneer, announced a $50 million investment led by JMI Equity, a growth equity company focusing on investing in top software companies, with previous investors FTV Capital and Altos Ventures participating. This expansion investment will help OpenSesame speed its global expansion, expand its technology platform through product-led M&A, and continue to create value for its global customers.

Companies across the globe were compelled to rethink how they train and grow their organizations as a consequence of COVID-19 and the beginning of the work-from-home age. As a result, organizations accelerated their adoption of online learning and employee development programs with remote workforces, with a particular surge in demand for more training on diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), and leadership development, enabling a safe working environment and workplace wellness. The most comprehensive and essential solution for global and remote workforces across all sectors is OpenSesame's extensive library of 20,000+ e-learning courses in over 19 languages and new courses from world-class content partners such as TED and Harvard Business Publishing.

To offer customers even more high-quality courses, OpenSesame will increase its investment in partnerships and technology. The business adds unique courses by collaborating with the world's finest content producers and subject matter experts, as well as its curation team, to create courses that meet the unmet training requirements of today's virtual and varied workforces. With AI-curated course lists, OpenSesame has created technology that enables learning administrators to build custom learning pathways for each learner. In addition, the Simon platform from OpenSesame enables learning professionals to build compelling online training courses in many languages that connect with any learning management system.

About OpenSesame

Through effective online learning in every sector, OpenSesame assists in the development of the world's most productive and respected workforce. OpenSesame assists global companies at every step of the process, with the most extensive library of e-learning courses from the world's top publishers. As a result, OpenSesame has gained additional Global 2000 companies to its client base when the workforce is becoming more virtual. With over 20,000 courses available, the platform serves all industries and markets.

About JMI Equity

JMI Equity is a growth equity company that focuses on top software businesses. Since its inception in 1992, JMI has invested in over 155 businesses in its target markets, executed over 105 successful exits, and raised more than $6 billion in committed capital. In addition, JMI works with outstanding management teams to help them grow their companies into industry leaders.

Spotlight

The disruption to our children’s lives from COVID-19 has been significant and has also accelerated changes to education models that may outlast the pandemic. Some schools will open with 100 percent remote instruction. Some will begin on campus fulltime and pivot if necessary. Others will try a blended approach spanning in-class and remote. One thing we know for certain is that children, their families, and educators are facing a host of pressing challenges in every sphere of life.

Spotlight

The disruption to our children’s lives from COVID-19 has been significant and has also accelerated changes to education models that may outlast the pandemic. Some schools will open with 100 percent remote instruction. Some will begin on campus fulltime and pivot if necessary. Others will try a blended approach spanning in-class and remote. One thing we know for certain is that children, their families, and educators are facing a host of pressing challenges in every sphere of life.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Explain Everything is acquired by Promethean to Continue Delivering Transformational Collaboration and Learning Experiences

Promethean | December 02, 2022

Explain Everything, a leading online digital whiteboard platform for creating engaging lessons, activities, and interactive presentations, today announced it has officially joined Promethean®, a leading global education technology company. The Explain Everything app provides users with an infinite canvas to draw, animate, create videos, and collaborate and is available on iOS, macOS, ChromeOS, Android and the web. Joining forces with Promethean will bring Everything to Promethean's award-winning panels as well, enabling both companies to have a greater positive impact on the future of education. Long-time Explain Everything users can rest assured that the app will simultaneously continue to be offered on all other platforms. Promethean's educational technology solutions deliver a robust, seamless, and secure experience, with features that respond to educators' and workplace users' unique needs around the globe. Its comprehensive edtech solution also includes superior professional development and customer support. The inclusion of Explain Everything's digital whiteboard platform into Promethean's product portfolio will build upon both companies' visions in edtech and beyond. Explain Everything remains deeply committed to providing the highest level of service, and users will continue to have uninterrupted access to their projects and materials. Likewise, the Explain Everything pricing model does not change. The aim of this strategic merger is to expand on both companies' offerings and provide more rapid technology innovation that addresses global teaching, learning, and collaboration needs. This and much more will be possible when working with a top educational leader in the USA and EMEA, and the Explain Everything team looks toward the future with great excitement. We're thrilled to now be part of the Promethean team," said Reshan Richards, co-founder and chief executive officer at Explain Everything. "Explain Everything's mission to impact teaching and learning in all settings is in perfect alignment with Promethean's more than 25 years of education technology leadership. Together, we will continue to provide the most effective interactive learning tools for students and teachers around the world. "As technology evolves, Promethean continues to look to the future to provide the best solutions to transform learning experiences. Joining the Explain Everything team with ours is part of our commitment to continuously innovate and work towards providing a superior interactive experience from anywhere, This exciting opportunity and new relationship for both companies will allow us to expand our already robust offerings to better serve customers' needs." Vin Riera, chief executive officer at Promethean About Explain Everything Explain Everything Whiteboard is developed by Explain Everything Inc, a New York, NY, and Wroclaw, Poland-based team of innovators, artists, learners, and leaders dedicated to developing creativity-inspiring technologies. Released in 2011, Explain Everything is now used by millions of educators, students and creative professionals around the world. In December 2020, Explain Everything Whiteboard was recognized as one of the Apple App Store's Best of 2020 for Leading the Classroom. The app is available on iOS, iPadOS, Android, Chromebooks and the web, and is developed by the Wrocław-based team. About Promethean Promethean is a leading education technology company working to transform the way the world learns and collaborates. From our founding in Blackburn, England, more than 25 years ago to our global operations in 22 countries today, we've continued to explore, innovate, and inspire —designing learning and collaboration tools that are built for breakthroughs. Our award-winning interactive display, ActivPanel, and lesson delivery software, ActivInspire and ClassFlow, were designed to engage students, connect colleagues, and bring out the brilliance in everyone. With headquarters in Seattle, Washington, and offices worldwide, Promethean is a member of the NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited (HKSE: 0777) group of companies.

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CORPORATE EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Varo Bank Launches "SaveUp" Financial Education Course in Collaboration with EVERFI

EVERFI | September 17, 2022

Varo Bank, the first all-digital, nationally chartered U.S. consumer techbank, announced today the launch of SaveUp, a free middle school savings curriculum designed in strategic partnership with social impact education innovator, EVERFI. The SaveUp course is the largest initiative to date of the Varo Money Power program, which includes free online financial education lessons for adults and the Russ x Varo Money Power financial education workshops for high school students designed in partnership with NBA superstar Russell Westbrook.SaveUp empowers students by providing them with the tools they need to build a strong savings foundation and will be available to 4,500 middle schools nationwide by June 2024. The course is aligned with Jump$tart National Standards for Personal Finance Education and focuses on middle school students to provide them time to learn and practice savings habits before they start to deal with more pressing financial challenges in high school and beyond. "Everyone deserves the same access to opportunity, and that starts with financial education,Through this joint initiative, Varo and EVERFI continue to advance our shared mission of expanding financial inclusion and helping young people learn the fundamentals of what it takes to build wealth for themselves and their communities. We plan to leverage this program content in the future to broaden the reach of financial education and literacy to a wider audience going forward." Colin Walsh, Founder and CEO of Varo Bank Throughout the course, students will learn the importance of saving, how to budget, how savings can help reach financial goals, and how to open a savings account. This will be accomplished through an interactive learning experience that includes: Self-guided lessons to help students develop simple, actionable strategies. Real-world scenarios that prime students for long-term behavioral change using problem-solving and self- reflection activities. Detailed score reports and offline extension activities to help teachers maximize their impact across all students. Middle school is a time of financial socialization for students as they start to develop their own values and beliefs around money," said Ray Martinez, Co-Founder and President of EVERFI. "Developing the SaveUp curriculum and bringing it to middle schools around the country, is just part of our commitment to help students, especially those in low-to-moderate income populations, build the knowledge and skills they need to achieve financial wellness and stability while providing equal access to the financial services system. About Varo Bank, N.A. Varo Bank is the first all-digital, nationally chartered U.S. consumer techbank built from the ground up, designed to make financial inclusion and opportunity a reality for all. Varo Bank is reimagining the modern banking experience and providing customers with the tools they need to build financial resilience and realize their financial power – with offerings such as Varo Believe, a secured card to help build credit, Varo Advance to help stretch hard-earned dollars between paychecks, the ability to earn cashback at 1,000 merchant locations nationwide, and a newly launched high yield savings account option, more than 38x the national average. A different kind of financial institution – Varo Bank serves everyone striving to build a better future – from those with abundance to people struggling to make ends meet. Varo has been named one of Forbes' World's Best Banks in 2022, Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies, and is on the Inc 5000 list of fastest growing companies for 2022. For more information on Varo Advance, Varo Believe, and other offerings such as Perks, visit www.varomoney.com, like Varo Bank on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter @varobank. @2022 Varo Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. About EVERFI, Inc. EVERFI from Blackbaud is an international technology company driving social impact through education to address the most challenging issues affecting society ranging from financial wellness to mental health to workplace conduct and other critical topics. Founded in 2008, EVERFI's Impact-as-a-Service™ solution and digital educational content have reached more than 45 million learners globally. In 2020, the company was recognized as one of the World's Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company and was featured on Fortune Magazine's Impact 20 List. The company was also named to the 2021 GSV EdTech 150, a list of the most transformative growth companies in digital learning. Blackbaud, the world's leading cloud software company powering social good, acquired EVERFI in December of 2021.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Spark Education Group wins Best Interactive Learning Experience award at EdTech Asia Summit

Spark Education Group | October 31, 2022

Spark Education Group, an innovator in global online education and the parent company of VISPARK and Allschool, won the "Best Interactive Learning Experience" award at the EdTech Asia Summit. The premiere EdTech conference took place at the Raffles Convention Centre in Singapore, discussing emerging trends in learning and innovation in education. "We are thrilled that Spark Education Group is recognized for providing interactive learning experiences through our VISPARK and Allschool platforms. We have always believed that the combination of a research-based curriculum designed by expert pedagogues, imaginative designers and technologists, provides the best learning experiences and educational outcomes for children. This award marks that achievement and celebrates the tremendous effort by our team of best-in-class educators," said Mr Xiaonan Wang, co-founder of Spark Education Group, Head of South East Asia Region. Spark Education Group was founded by parents hoping to improve learning experiences and achieve superior educational outcomes for their children by combining technology and education. Headquartered in Singapore, the company introduced two new brands, VISPARK and Allschool, this year for Singapore, US and other international markets. VISPARK VISPARK is an online education provider of enrichment learning programs. Its flagship program, Spark Math, offers online classes taught by certified teachers using innovative and interactive courseware. It aims to provide a fun and rewarding learning experience and improve student's academic outcomes.Its flagship product, Spark Math, is aligned with the Ministry of Education (MOE) Singapore's Math curriculum and the United States Common Core State Standards. The program uses technology to epitomise Singapore Math's concrete, pictorial and abstract approach to technology. Interactive hands-on learning, animated content, gamified exercises and differentiated pacing combined with live instruction by certified teachers, ensures Spark Math students are more engaged, motivated, and achieve better academic results. In the recent Gifted Education Program Screening test conducted in Singapore, 87.5% of Spark Math students passed the test, which is more than 8 times the pass rate of Singapore's national average. Allschool Allschool is an innovative online platform connecting educators and students around the world. With award-winning, purpose-built teaching and learning technologies, Allschool empowers teachers to create and deliver uniquely interactive classes across a wide variety of subjects and topics. Gamified and interactive classes such as Virtual Escape room sessions and Dinosaur explorations are amongst some of its most subscribed classes. On Allschool, parents and students can find hundreds of classes offered by teachers from around the world. With thousands of students attending Allschool classes, teachers can use Classpod, another Spark Education Group product, to easily administer and host small-group, interactive classes. With PowerCourse, our proprietary courseware creation software, educators can easily and efficiently create interactive course content that improves engagement and learning experiences for their students. The platform has received positive reviews with over 97% from users who attended interactive classes. Allschool continues to enhance learning experiences with interactive class offerings in a variety of topics and formats to enable educators and connect them with students around the world. "We are honored to give Spark Education Group this year's award for Best Interactive Learning Experience. It is apparent their products, including VISPARK and Allschool, are designed to actively engage and educate their students. By merging pedagogical expertise with imaginative design and interaction, educators are enabled to achieve quality learning outcomes. We look forward to seeing what other innovation Spark will bring to market in the years ahead." Michael Michalec, the Managing Director at EdTech Asia Spark Education Group is committed to the goal of improving learning experiences and outcomes for students. The group continues to invest in developing expertise and capabilities to stay at the forefront of educational technology development, continuing to experiment and innovate, to inspire a passion for learning and igniting lifelong growth. About Spark Education Group Headquartered in Singapore, Spark Education Group was founded in 2017 by a father who saw the challenges his son faced within a traditional learning environment. He believed that every generation should be better than the last, and that we should work to make the world a better place, especially in making education better for children in the coming generations. Spark Education aims to create the next generation of e-learning through extensive research-based curriculums designed by expert pedagogues. Our products centre around the belief that technology can improve the learning experience and achieve better educational outcomes compared to traditional classroom settings.

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