The leaders of Ingram Content Group have struck a deal to sell their VitalSource Technology eduction technology division to an investment firm that has raised $24 billion since being launched in 1999.
Terms of the acquisition of VitalSource by Francisco Partners, which is expected to close this summer, aren’t being disclosed. VitalSource has been under the Ingram Content umbrella since 2006 and has grown from a niche player to an e-learning company that works with about 8,000 institutions and more than 1,000 publishers and resellers to provide digital course materials to 16 million people in every corner of the world.
"VitalSource has grown into one of the leading digital curriculum delivery and learning platform providers with proven scalability and reliability at a time where digital content and online learning is very much in demand,” said Ingram Content Group President and CEO Shawn Morin. “Francisco Partners is committed to furthering the VitalSource mission of improving learner outcomes and accelerating our commitment to developing innovative, forward-thinking solutions and platforms that open doors to affordable and impactful learning experiences.”
Founded in 1994, VitalSource has grown both organically and via acquisitions. Since 2014, the company has bought CourseSmart, Verba, Intrepid Learning — which moved it into the corporate learning space — and Acrobatiq. In addition to La Vergne, the division has offices in Raleigh, Boston, San Francisco and Seattle as well as England and Australia.
“This acquisition is a great fit for our business, for our team, and for our customers and partners. It ensures that we will be able to expand our efforts to deliver affordable and impactful learning solutions for students and professionals,” said VitalSource President Kent Freeman. “We are proud of the work we have done to become a leader in the educational technology industry, and we are poised to accelerate those efforts with this investment from Francisco Partners.”
The Francisco Partners team — which has offices in San Francisco, London and New York — has invested in more than 110 companies. Among its other holdings in the education space are fellow digital materials provider Discovery Education and Civitas Learning, which helps colleges improve student retention via analytics software.