Desire2Learn Goes for Deep Analytics with Acquisition of Knowillage Systems

Desire2Learn is continuing to grow, today the company announced the acquisition of Richmond B.C.’s Knowillage Systems, the makers of adaptive learning platform LeaP.

This is the third acquisition by the Kitchener-based ed-tech company so far this year.

The deal will allow Desire2Learn to expand its analytics-based offerings, as part of its cloud-based learning management system.

“We have been working hard on building an integrated learning platform that allows us to make the teaching and learning experience more personal, engaging and inspiring,” says John Baker, the company’s CEO. “This acquisition extends Desire2Learn’s current insights-driven product offerings, supporting educators in their efforts to accelerate learning and improve learning outcomes.”

A little over a year ago, Desire2Learn raised over $80 million in venture funding from New Enterprise Associates and OMERS Ventures. At the time, it was the largest venture round for a Canadian software company.

Since then, the company has acquired Degree Compass, a predictive analytics technology developed at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, in January, and Boston-based Wiggio, which developed collaboration tools, in March.

Baker says the new acquisition “compliments both of these technologies by addressing specific areas of need for each student, helping them improve their overall performance.”

Knowillage’s LeaP system “is an adaptive learning engine that utilizes data-driven technology to present personalized learning pathways to students to help them overcome hurdles and accelerate learning,” says Baker.

The company says that this will make it easier for educators to assess an individual students’ learning gaps and allow teachers to easily create individually tailored learning activities to close those gaps. They say this will save schools and educators time and money.

Desire2Learn says that the LeaP software is not only geared to schools, but can also help large corporations asses the skill levels of each employee and target training programs to individual needs.

“The acquisition fits perfectly with our existing analytics solutions for the K-12, higher education, and corporate markets,” says Baker. “We’re excited to roll this out for all of our customers to empower educators around the world with the ability to personalize instruction for each learner.”

The company is currently not disclosing the value of the acquisition.

Founded in 1999, Desire2Learn’s software-as-a-service platform is currently used by over 700 customers, ranging from elementary schools to large corporations, to teach over 8 million learners.