We’ve wrapped up a difficult year. The COVID-19 pandemic hit everyone hard, personally and professionally, and while overall spending in the training market was down, the industry was still active with mergers, acquisitions and investments. Here are the deals we spotted in the final quarter of 2020.
Assessment and Evaluation
Among companies that provide solutions to measure employee skills and performance:
- Workforce Insight agreed to acquire Hive Tech HR. The companies’ solutions include workforce management and human capital management (HCM) advisory, analytics and implementation services.
- Findem emerged from stealth mode, launched its people intelligence platform and closed a $7.3 million Series A funding round led by Wing Venture Capital. The platform enables organizations to use a data-driven approach to talent acquisition and management.
- Turnitin, a provider of assessment and integrity solutions, acquired ExamSoft, an assessment software platform for educational institutions and certification and licensure programs.
- Workera, which enables organizations to evaluate technical and non-technical data and artificial intelligence (AI) skills, announced $5 million in seed funding led by Owl Ventures and AI Fund.
- Gryphon Investors became the majority investor in Meazure Learning, an exam delivery and online proctoring provider for academic and professional customers. Eastside Partners and Meazure Learning’s management team also retained a significant ownership stake in the business. Meazure Learning was formed last Jan. through the merger of ProctorU and Yardstick Assessment Strategies.
In a year of lowered learning and development spending, the health and safety training market saw growth last year, with more customers needing such training to make workplaces safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and more health care organizations needing to quickly upskill their staff. Likewise, we saw continued activity in funding and acquisitions in this market segment:
- The Health & Safety Institute (HSI), an environmental, health and safety (EHS) software, training and compliance solutions provider, acquired SOS Intl LLC, an energy utilities training and compliance company, and Vado, which has a catalog of online courses on business and compliance topics.
- ACTO, an education and engagement platform for the life sciences industry, acquired CoHealth, whose mobile app delivers resources to both patients and caregivers. This acquisition created a new offering, direct-to-patient education solutions, for ACTO.
- K12 Inc., an online and blended learning provider, rebranded as Stride while announcing its acquisitions of Tech Elevator, a coding bootcamp provider, and MedCerts, which provides online and hands-on training in health care and medical fields.
Cybersecurity training was also an area of high need in 2020, as the risk of breaches and cybercrime rose with so many employees working in remote and potentially unsecured locations. To that end, we saw a few deals for cybersecurity training companies:
- Sunset Learning Institute (SLI), a corporate and public sector IT training provider, announced its second acquisition of 2020: GigaWave Technologies, a wireless networking and cybersecurity training company.
- Theta Lake, Inc., which provides collaboration security and compliance solutions that include compliance training, announced $12.7 million in Series A funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners.
- Liquidity Capital closed a $10 million finding agreement with cybersecurity services and training company HackerU.
- Raven Advisory LLC, whose consulting and training solutions include offerings in risk management and cybersecurity, acquired Gryphon Group LLC, a provider of military, law enforcement and corporate security training programs.