Apple has announced that it has acquired LearnSprout, a San Francisco-based education-technology startup company, reports gadgets.ndtv.com. However, Apple and LearnSprout did not disclose the terms of the deal and how much it costs.
The acquisition of LearnSprout follows Apple’s announcement of iOS 9.3, which includes several major new features for iPads in education, including multi-user account switching.
LearnSprout has been in business for three years, and offers online data insights to help K-12 educators. Its aim is to help schools make sense from data held in Student Information Systems – see a trend in attendance, health and much more. The startup, which also offers multi-year trend reports, also handles data duplication and serves developers and schools with up-to-date information.
In 2012, LearnSprout was founded by Franklyn Chien, Anthony Wu, and Joe Woo – veterans, respectively, of Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. The company has been able to expand its services to more than 2,500 schools and 200 districts across 42 states in the United States.
Last year, LearnSprout was able to raise a sum of $4.7 million (in two rounds, $500,000 and $4.2 million) from some high-profile investors, which include Andreessen Horowitz and Samsung Ventures.
The confirmation was made in Apple’s usual boilerplate statement made available to Bloomberg, “”Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
Apple is gradually developing interest in the education sector. Apple’s recent body language also suggests that the company is gradually unfolding its plans for the education sector, and this may not be the last of investments we expect the Cupertino-based company to make in the next few years.
Earlier this month the smartphone giant also released iOS 9.3 beta to developers, and to the public for its ardent fans. The new update to Apple’s mobile operating system among other features, offers an education-based feature called “Shared iPad” to allow more than one student to make use of the same iPad.
Apple also updated its Classroom app, by which a teacher is able to track the apps being used by his or her student. With this app, one is able to share his or her own on-screen activities with others. The company also improved Apple School Manager portal and “Managed Apple IDs.”
If the aforementioned didn’t point to the company’s new found interest in investing in education, the recent acquisition of LearnSprout should sound convincing enough to doubters about Apple’s future plans.
Apple’s decision to acquire the education startup may also not be unconnected with the gradual fall in sales of its iPad. It is currently working vigorously to promote iPad into enterprise and education sector to maintain growth and boost market sales.
It is believed that LearnSprout software could end up contributing to make this a reality, offering schools another reason to switch to iPads for their curriculum. Apple’s new iPad Pro is targeted at this too, with a larger display canvas for multitasking multiple apps. The month of March has also been touted by the media as the date for the release of an iPad Air 3.