Country for PR: United States
Contributor: PR Newswire New York
Wednesday, September 16 2020 - 23:15
ETS Creates ETS Strategic Capital to Tap into New Growth Opportunities in Education
PRINCETON, New Jersey, Sept. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

-- The new ETS unit will pursue strategic equity investments, growth 
partnerships, and mergers and acquisitions

ETS, the world's largest nonprofit educational assessment and measurement 
organization, today announced the creation of ETS Strategic Capital, a new unit 
that will focus on growing the business and advancing its mission through 
strategic equity investments, growth partnerships, and mergers and 

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ETS Strategic Capital will broaden, expand and diversify ETS's offering in 
assessment, learning and development for K–12, higher education, and 
corporations. With this mandate, ETS Strategic Capital is actively seeking 
transactions to establish a global portfolio of innovative education companies 
that will have both a positive financial and strategic impact.   

"We've reached a pivotal point in the ongoing evolution of education — there is 
a fundamental change in how educational services are delivered, how tools and 
assessments are structured, and how learners, schools, and companies are 
engaged and connected," said Ralph Taylor-Smith, the Managing Director of ETS 
Strategic Capital. "With our funding, expertise and experience in education, 
ETS Strategic Capital is well positioned to help emerging education companies 
that are addressing these gaps grow and increase their impact, while tapping 
into new opportunities. ETS brings value-add capabilities in assessments, 
research and development, global distribution, and innovative technologies to 
our portfolio and partner companies."

ETS Strategic Capital currently has a portfolio of five companies that bring 
technology, new business models and geographic coverage, and that complement 
and build out ETS's current business areas:

 --     ApplyBoard: Guided by ETS Strategic Capital, ETS made an equity
        investment in Canadian-based ApplyBoard Inc., the world's largest
        platform for international student recruitment. As part of this
        investment, ApplyBoard and ETS's TOEFL(R) business unit, which
        provides the world's premier English-language test for university
        study, work and immigration, are also developing a strategic growth
 --     Pipplet: A start-up specializing in language assessment for
        businesses, Paris-based Pipplet helps companies assess job
        candidates' language fluency based on their practical, real-world
        ability to interact in a professional context. ETS's subsidiary, ETS
        Global B.V., acquired Pipplet S.A.S., guided by ETS Strategic
 --     Capti (by Charmtech Labs LLC): Through the use of machine learning,
        artificial intelligence and natural language processing, Buffalo,
        N.Y.-based Capti, created by Charmtech Labs LLC, provides
        personalized literacy and learning support to K–12 students. Capti –
        dubbed a "AAA" for teachers – helps teachers accommodate, assess and
        accelerate reading for all their students. ETS Strategic Capital
        arranged a seed investment from ETS in Capti and established a
        strategic business partnership with ETS Research & Development (R&D)
        and New Product Development (NPD). Capti is licensing ETS's
assessment/ )
        intellectual property in internet-driven reading diagnostics, and
        will work closely with ETS's R&D and NPD teams to expand
        opportunities to positively impact K12 student reading success across
        the United States. 
 --     EdAgree: Focused on the international student experience, EdAgree,
        Inc. is a newly formed spin-out company from ETS that will match
        international students with universities and support those students
        throughout their education journey. EdAgree plans to validate student
        profile information, package it for streamlined processing by
        admissions departments, and collaborate with universities to identify
        and deliver support that will optimize learning outcomes. EdAgree
        also will collaborate with partner universities on research efforts
        to optimize student success. ETS Strategic Capital arranged $1
        million of seed funding from ETS to incubate the new start-up company
        and facilitated the spinout from ETS.  
 --     Gradschoolmatch: is an interactive internet
        driven software platform that helps prospective graduate students
        match with potential graduate academic programs. The match-algorithm,
        search-engine and business-approach are modeled after successful
        "personal-dating" web-driven businesses; students can post
        biographies, research interests, career plans and academic profiles;
        they can also "bookmark" a graduate program profile to "signal their
        interest" in learning more or send "private messages" to graduate
        school recruiters. Both prospective graduate students and graduate
        institutions may subscribe, which allows them to search by location
        or academic interests, tracking prospects and making contact with
        simplified one-click interconnectivity for matching. ETS Strategic
        Capital arranged the purchase of the platform,
        and it will be incorporated into ETS's offerings to the graduate
        school market.

ETS Strategic Capital will serve as the private equity investment and M&A 
execution arm for ETS, its subsidiaries and its partners. It will source 
transactions both within the domestic United States and internationally. It 
will partner with the broader EdTech ecosystem, to identify and execute deals, 
coordinate with other ETS business units to identify opportunities and needs, 
network with professional services firms with education expertise, and build 
direct relationships with businesses internationally — especially within Asia 
Pacific, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East & Africa (MENA) 

More specifically, ETS Strategic Capital will target private equity investments 
that are typically in Series B, C or later, where companies already have a 
proven product and/or market fit, initial customers, and developed 
business-model, and are seeking further new growth capital to scale the 
business; in select situations, earlier-stage investment may be possible. 
Acquisitions will primarily focus on middle-market scale deals, though smaller 
or larger acquisitions may also be possible in certain situations. ETS 
Strategic Capital defines growth partnerships broadly and they might involve 
joint ventures (JVs), channel-partner or distribution agreements, Intellectual 
Property (IP) licensing and technology-transfer relationships, along with 
similar strategic value-add business partnerships.  

Ralph Taylor-Smith, currently the Vice President of Corporate Development at 
ETS, will become the Managing Director of the new unit, bringing a wealth of 
experience in private equity investing, M&A and growth partnerships and joint 
ventures. ETS Strategic Capital has a growing bicoastal team based in offices 
in Princeton, N.J., Washington, D.C. and Silicon Valley, Calif. 

About ETS

At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by 
creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, 
educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized 
solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, 
secondary and postsecondary education, and by conducting education research, 
analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, 
administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the 
TOEFL(R) and TOEIC(R) tests, the GRE(R) tests and The Praxis Series(R) 
assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. 

Source: ETS

CONTACT: ETS Contact: