Washington, D.C. and Boca Raton, Fla. – (May 19, 2022) – Class Technologies Inc., a leader in the synchronous virtual classroom space, and Anthology, a provider of education solutions that support the entire learner lifecycle, today announced they have signed a definitive agreement for Class to acquire Anthology’s Blackboard Collaborate virtual classroom tool.
Anthology’s Blackboard Collaborate is a leader in the synchronous virtual classroom space with deep integration into Blackboard Learn Ultra, serving over 10 million users across more than 1,300 institutions in over 75 countries worldwide. Class brings the classroom online by adding teaching and learning tools to the Zoom platform, which is used by hundreds of thousands of institutions and businesses globally. Together, Class and Blackboard Collaborate will serve over 1,750 institutions representing higher education, K-12 and corporate learning & development teams around the world.
“COVID forced millions of learners and instructors online overnight and fundamentally changed the face of education and training,” said Michael Chasen, co-founder and CEO of Class. “At Class, our vision is to change the way the world learns - both in education and the workforce. Bringing together these two products and teams allows us to deliver the next generation virtual and hybrid learning environment -better, faster, and stronger than we could as two separate entities.”
This transaction will allow Anthology to focus more resources on accelerating innovation within its flagship learning management system, Blackboard Learn Ultra, and in other areas of the business where Anthology is uniquely positioned to support the global education community.
"Learner expectations have shifted and education is experiencing transformational change that calls for a renewed focus on pedagogical best practices," said Jim Milton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Anthology. “This strategic partnership enables us to build on our momentum and deep investment in Learn Ultra and expand the impact it can have across more learning environments for our clients, ultimately driving learner and institutional success. It also will provide us the opportunity to partner more broadly with other synchronous providers in the EdTech ecosystem.”
Class Technologies will continue full support for customers across Class for Zoom and Blackboard Collaborate. The companies will also partner to build a tight integration between Blackboard Learn and Class to promote student success. The future combination will bring the best of both products together:
- Class brings its expertise leveraging the scalability of Zoom and the extensibility of the Zoom SDK to build large, stable synchronous video experiences enriched by teaching and learning tools.
- Blackboard Collaborate brings an industry leading integration with Blackboard Learn and a large user base to help shape and guide future product development.
- With the addition of the Blackboard Collaborate team, Class will bring industry leading teams of educators and technologists together to build the next generation learning platform for hybrid, hyflex, and online learning.
Class will become the preferred virtual meeting technology partner to Blackboard.
Class raised a combination of equity and debt from new and existing investors to finance the acquisition, including SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Insight Partners, Salesforce Ventures, Owl Ventures, Emergence Capital, Educational Testing Services (ETS), Arizona State University (ASU), Maven Ventures, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Fund, SWaN & Legend, Chimera Investment, Sound Ventures, Catalysis Capital Management, Guy Oseary, Bill Tai, and Super Bowl champion and entrepreneur Tom Brady.
The transaction, which is subject to customary conditions and approvals, is expected to close in Q2 of 2022. Blackboard Collaborate became part of the Anthology product suite following the company’s merger with Blackboard last year. After closing, Blackboard Collaborate will be known as Class Collaborate. It is expected that a number of employees from Anthology who currently support Blackboard Collaborate will join Class. Until then, both businesses will continue to operate as usual and as separate entities.
To learn more about the plan for Class and Blackboard Collaborate coming together, please read more on www.class.com/collaborate.
About Class Technologies Inc.
Class is software developed by Class Technologies Inc., a company founded by education software pioneer Michael Chasen. Class adds teaching and learning tools to Zoom. It helps instructors take attendance, hand out assignments, give a quiz or test, grade work, proctor exams, talk one-on-one with a student, track student progress, and more all within the Zoom platform. Class is headquartered in Washington, DC with staff around the world. Schedule a demo at class.com and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok at @WeAreClassTech.
Anthology offers the largest EdTech ecosystem on a global scale for education, recently combining with Blackboard to support more than 150 million users in 80 countries. With a mission to provide dynamic, data-informed experiences to the global education community, Anthology helps learners, leaders and educators achieve their goals through over 60 SaaS products and services designed to advance learning. Discover more about how we are fulfilling our mission for K-12, higher education, business and government institutions at https://www.anthology.com/.
Zoom is a trademark of Zoom Video Communications, Inc. Class Technologies Inc. and its product Class are not sponsored, endorsed, or otherwise affiliated with Zoom.
Notes to the Editor: Michael Chasen co-founded Blackboard in 1997, and co-founded Class in September of 2020.