WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (July 20, 2018) – Francisco Partners and Renaissance®, a leader in pre-K–12 learning analytics, today announced that their previously announced transaction has closed. This transaction builds upon Francisco Partners’ strength in education investing, having completed investments previously in myON®, a leading provider of digital literacy solutions, and Discovery Education, Inc., the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K–12 classrooms around the world.
Concurrent with closing, several of Francisco Partners’ limited partners joined the investor group, as did GEMS Education, a network of over 70 international schools in more than a dozen countries, and TPG’s RISE Fund, a social impact investment vehicle.
Chris Bauleke, CEO of Renaissance, said “I am excited to welcome new minority investors alongside Francisco Partners. Each of these organizations is well-positioned to add value and help Renaissance provide the best tools for students to improve their academic performance and outcomes.”
“GEMS’ mission since our inception has been to provide high quality education for students across the world,” said Sunny Varkey, Founder of GEMS Education. “We believe that Renaissance is uniquely positioned as a platform to accelerate learning for everyone and are excited to invest through Tmrw Digital, which is our group holding company for education technology investments.”
“Renaissance’s ability to improve education for students around the world fits perfectly with The Rise Fund’s focus on growing great businesses that create measurable, positive social impact,” said Tim Millikin, Principal at TPG who will join the board of Renaissance Learning. “The education sector is a key part of The Rise Fund’s growing portfolio, with a series of investments that reflect the fund’s thematic focus on digital tools for K–12 and the personalized learning those tools enable. We look forward to working with Renaissance and Francisco Partners as part of this global education strategy.”
“We are pleased to add like-minded investors who are passionate about the opportunity to improve education outcomes around the world and view Renaissance as platform to help deliver those solutions,” said Jason Brein, Partner at Francisco Partners.
Renaissance products are used in approximately one-third of U.S. schools and more than 70 countries worldwide. Its solutions help educators analyze students’ abilities and guide high-quality instruction. These solutions include Renaissance Star Assessments®, Renaissance Accelerated Reader®, myON®, Renaissance Accelerated Math®, and Renaissance Flow 360®. By working with Francisco Partners and its co-investors, the organization plans to continue to evolve its solutions and expand its global presence to serve additional school districts around the world.
Renaissance® is a leader in pre-K–12 learning analytics—enabling teachers, curriculum creators, and educators to drive phenomenal student growth. Renaissance’s solutions help educators analyze, customize, and plan personalized learning paths for students, allowing time for what matters—creating energizing learning experiences in the classroom. Founded by parents, upheld by educators, and enriched by data scientists, Renaissance knows learning is a continual journey—from year to year and for a lifetime. Our data-driven, personalized solutions are currently used in over one-third of U.S. schools and more than 70 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.renaissance.com.
Francisco Partners is a leading global private equity firm, which specializes in investments in technology and technology-enabled services businesses. Since its launch over 18 years ago, Francisco Partners has raised approximately $14 billion in capital and invested in nearly 200 technology companies, making it one of the most active and longstanding investors in the technology industry. The firm invests in transaction values ranging from $50 million to over $2 billion, where the firm’s deep sectoral knowledge and operational expertise can help companies realize their full potential. For more information on Francisco Partners, please visit www.franciscopartners.com.
GEMS Education was founded by the Varkey family over 55 years ago and is a family run business today. From that beginning, Sunny Varkey, the Founder and Chairman of GEMS Education has built the world’s largest provider of K-12 private education, educating over 250,000 students and employing over 13,000 teachers across 19 markets in the Middle East, North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Beyond brick and mortar education, GEMS has diversified into operating and investing in the EdTech space through their division Tmrw Digital. This enterprise looks to champion EdTech by making use of GEMS’ understanding of end market dynamics and receiving instant feedback from a captive userbase. This has enabled Tmrw digital to invest in start-up funds, anchor a private equity fund, make strategic investments into EdTech businesses as well as build operating business of some scale, from the knowledge base of being educators first.
When establishing Tmrw Digital, Sunny Varkey said “It is my hope that with tomorrow (Tmrw) in mind, we are able to build an enterprise that enables our entire GEMS ecosystem to benefit from the promise of technology. It is my belief that by pursuing this path we can serve society better and also build significant businesses that achieve our goals. This is an exciting time for our industry. It faces challenges that only technology and the investment in teaching can solve. We will be known for being the leaders in both.”
The Rise Fund is the world’s largest global fund committed to achieving measurable, positive social and environmental outcomes alongside competitive financial returns – what we call “complete returns.” The Rise Fund is managed by TPG Growth, the global growth equity and middle market buyout platform of alternative asset firm TPG. By leveraging the global talent, resources, and track-record of TPG, The Rise Fund brings a unique ability to both help build businesses and simultaneously expand their positive social impact. The Rise Fund is led by a group of influential thought leaders with a deep personal and professional commitment to driving social and environmental progress. The board includes: Bill McGlashan, TPG Growth Founder and Managing partner; Bono, Jeff Skoll, Mo Ibrahim, Laurene Powell Jobs, Anand Mahindra and Pierre Omidyar. The Rise Fund’s objectives align with the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. The Rise Fund invests in education, energy, food and agriculture, financial services, growth infrastructure, healthcare, and technology, media, and telecommunications companies that deliver complete returns. For more information, visit www.therisefund.com.
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