Class Technologies, a Zoom-based training platform based in the United States during the pandemic, has announced the purchase of Blackboard Collaborate, a video conferencing software owned by Anthology.

Anthology, founded in 2020 as a result of a merger of three companies involved in educational administrative software, whose roots go back to the 1980s, last year bought Blackboard through a merger. Blackboard is one of the world’s largest edtech brands.

Technology classThe operators of the synchronous virtual learning platform, supported by Zoom, announced on May 19 that they had agreed with Anthology to purchase the Blackboard Collaborate.

The Blackboard Collaborate currently serves 10 million users in 1,300 institutions and 75 countries around the world. The combined business will serve more than 1,750 institutions.

The deal is reported to cost $ 210 million. Class Technology founder Michael Chaisen was a co-founder and managed Blackboard between 1999 and 2012. Blackboard software was, as Class said, “a leader in the space of synchronous virtual classes with deep integration into Blackboard Learn Ultra.”

Combining these two products and teams allows us to create a next-generation virtual and hybrid learning environment – better, faster and stronger than we could as two separate units
– Michael Chesen, cool technology

The class works by adding teaching and learning tools to the Zoom platform. Upon completion of the transaction, the platform in the future will be called “Class Collaborate”.

The acquisition will allow Anthology to “focus more resources on accelerating innovation in its flagship Blackboard Learn Ultra learning management system and in other areas of business,” the statement said on behalf of the company.

Jim Milton, chairman and CEO of Anthology, said expectations “changed” amid a period of “transformational change that requires renewed attention to best teaching practices.” The sale, Milton said, will allow Anthology to “build on our momentum and deep investment in Learn Ultra and expand the impact it can have on more learning environments for our clients”.

Class will maintain the full support of its current customers and Blackboard Collaborate customers. The firm said it was looking to build “close integration” between the two platforms to “bring the best of both”. A statement on behalf of the firm said that Class has the experience of “big, stable synchronous video” and Blackboard has “a large global user base”. There will be “several” current Blackboard Collaborate staff in the classroom.

“Covid has brought millions of students and faculty online overnight and fundamentally changed the face of education and training,” said Michael Chesen, co-founder and CEO of Class. “Our vision in the Class is to change the way we teach the world, both in education and in the workforce. Combining these two products and teams allows us to create the next generation of virtual and hybrid learning environments – better, faster and stronger than we could as two separate units. ”

The deal is expected to be concluded in the second quarter of 2022.

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