Francisco Partners Acquires EdTech Provider Renaissance

California-based private equity firm Francisco Partners has agreed to acquire Renaissance, a Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin-based provider of pre K-12 learning analytics. The sellers include fellow San Francisco-based PE shop Hellman & Friedman.

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Renaissance’s cloud-based educational software is used in more than 70 countries around the world and is leveraged by approximately one-third of all schools in the US. Its solutions allow educators to analyze students’ abilities and guide high-quality instruction.

In March, the edtech provider acquired Bloomington, MN-based myON, a developer of tools designed to improve and assess students’ reading abilities, for an undisclosed sum. As part of the deal, myON’s former Chief Executive Officer Chris Bauleke will take the place of Renaissance’s Chief Executive Daniel Hamburger, who will transition to a role of special advisor to the newly formed entity.

Before myON was sold to Renaissance in March, Francisco Partners owned the company. With myON’s extensive digital content library and literacy tools, Renaissance indicates that it can deliver a more comprehensive suite of reading solutions to educators and students.

Renaissance has also experienced its fare share changes in owners and leadership since its launch more than three decades back. In 2011, the firm was acquired by British private equity firm Permira Advisors in an all-cash deal worth $440 million. Following a funding round in which Google Capital took a minority stake in Renaissance with a $40 million investment, Permira sold the company to Hellman & Freidman. The mega-deal garnered Renaissance a unicorn valued at over $1 billion and marked one of the largest transactions the edtech industry had ever seen.

Under Francisco’s ownership, Renaissance will continue to build out its solutions and its global presence to reach additional school districts around the world.

"Francisco Partners is the ideal partner for Renaissance through the next stage of the company's growth," said Hamburger. "Their deep commitment to education and technology will help the organization deliver on our purpose of accelerating learning for all. I could not be more proud of what we've accomplished at Renaissance and am certain that customers, partners, and employees will be in good hands going forward."

Financial terms of the transaction, expected to close by the end of June 2018, were not disclosed.