Cross-published on EDUKWEST Europe.
TES Global announced that it has acquired San Francisco-based edtech startup Blendspace, a platform that makes it easy for teachers to create digital lessons tailored to students’ needs. The amount for which the startup got acquired remains undisclosed.
Blendspace was founded in 2012 and had investment from imagine K-12, NewSchools Venture Fund and Silicon Valley angel investors. It will join San Francisco-based Wikispaces, a company acquired by TES Global in February 2014. In fact, the acquisition took place to strengthen and enhance the Wikispaces brand and content library.
Blendspace built an interface that allows teachers to create lessons within 5 min following a drag and drop model. Moreover, the startup had also formed partnerships with digital content providers so teachers can choose from a variety of digital resources including videos, images, files and links.
Blendspace claims that about half a million teachers have used their product within the past two years. As part of the deal Blendspace’s premium tools will now be available for teachers to use for free and allow everyone to collaborate on lessons.
Louise Rogers, CEO of TES Global, says of the deal:
“At TES Global, enhancing the reach and functionality of our resources platform is one of our top priorities and I believe the addition of Blendspace into our portfolio is a strong complement to the tools currently being developed, and will enable us to further expand our range of classroom technologies.”
TES Global currently has 5.9 million teachers from 197 countries as members on the platform who download 4.9 million resources from the site every week.
The acquisition of Blendspace is part of a bigger push by TES Global into the resource space which is a growing market in K-12. As we reported the next version of TES Global will include paid downloads allowing teachers to charge for their lesson plans.
This model is very similar to the popular US-based platform Teachers pay Teachers (TpT), the closest competitor and current leader in the vertical as some of its members earned up to $2 million from selling their content on the TpT marketplace.
While, in May 2014, TpT announced its plans to cross the pond and make the platform more attractive to teachers in Europe, TES Global has already built a strong user-base in the US through Share my Lesson, its joint-venture with AFT which launched in 2012.
Both companies seem to be willing to invest quite some cash into attracting and retaining content creators over the coming months. On the one hand, Teachers pay Teachers attracted some high profile investors for its venture round, which according to educational entrepreneur and investor Richard Taylor, was around $64 million. On the other hand, EducationInvestor reports that TES Global has plans to raise £300 million ($505 million).
- TES Global Acquires Blendspace | PR Newswire
- Blendspace joins TES Global and Wikispaces! | Blendspace blog
- TES Global acquires Blendspace | EducationInvestor
- AFT and TES Connect Officially Launch ‘Share My Lesson’ with New Resources Aligned with Common Core State Standards | Press Release
- HEDLINE: Teachers Pay Teachers raises from Spectrum Equity, Tiger Global and True Ventures | EDUKWEST
- Next Version of TES Resources will introduce Paid Downloads | EDUKWEST Europe