Blackboard to acquire Calgary’s Elluminate

Blackboard today announced that it has entered into definitive agreements to acquire both Calgary-based Elluminate, Inc. and New York-based Wimba, Inc., two of the leading providers of synchronous learning and collaboration technology to the education markets, for a total of approximately $116 Million in cash.

Elluminate, headquartered in Calgary, was founded in 2000 and employs approximately 140 professional staff serving more than 1,900 K-12 and higher education clients located throughout the U.S. and 80 other countries.

This round of acquistions marks the second time Blackboard has come North of the border. In 2006, Vancouver-born WebCT was acquired by rival Blackboard and as part of the acquisition terms the WebCT name was phased out in favor of the Blackboard brand.

WebCT was originally developed at the University of British Columbia by Murray Goldberg – a faculty member in computer science. Goldberg grew the company until 1999, at which point it served approximately 2-3 million students in 30 countries.

Goldberg is also the creator of Silicon Chalk (which sold to Wimba) and Brainify an academic social bookmarking and networking site.