To merge into Blackboard Anthology, creating a new Adtech giant

Today, Blackboard, one of the largest providers of course-management software for colleges and schools, announced that it plans to merge with Anthology, a company founded last year in conjunction with three other Adtech companies.

This decision will create a huge company that will be alleged About अ 3 billion, Although officials did not disclose the terms of the agreement.

When it was formed last year, Anthology represented the marriage of three large companies all operating in different areas of Adtech: campus management, which provides student information systems; Campus Labs, which provides software for students, campus leaders to manage clubs, events and other student-friendly activities; And iModules, which develops alumni software to help colleges raise funds.

The merger in Blackboard will bring Anthology into another distinct but larger area of ​​Adtech services, running learning management systems for online and individual classes. Blackboard is one of the largest LMS providers.

The message from the leaders of the companies is that by joining the army, they will be able to exchange data better across the many product lines they operate in.

Colleges have long been rich in data but “bad information” when they work, argues Jim Milton, CEO of Anthology, in an interview with AdSerge: And help [campus leaders] Make more informed and actionable decisions. ”

When Instructor, the provider of LMS canvas, was sold last year, many professors worried about whether the new data owner would protect student data.

Blackboard CEO Bill Ballhaus emphasized that Blackboard and Anthology are different from Big Tech companies like Facebook and Google because “we’re not trying to monetize data.” And when data is integrated into products on campus, he added, it will be the campus’s own data.

The two officials made almost contradictory arguments: on the one hand, colleges could benefit as much as their equipment could be purchased from anthology product lines because it would lead to better integration; But on the other hand, Blackboard Product will continue its commitment to standardization and integration with as many other products as possible into the Edek ecosystem, meaning the software will still work with other products.

“When you buy more and more solutions from the same vendor, many of those solutions are out of the box and the seam and friction are reduced,” Milton said. “We believe that, in the end, customers will buy more and more solutions from us.”

But he added that the use of standards by companies means that colleges will be free to choose a mix of offers without locking.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval, but officials at the two companies said they expect the deal to close by the end of the year.

Record investments in Adtech and the global epidemic are part of the growing trend of Adtech companies that have accelerated the use of tech tools by schools and colleges that have been forced to do more online.

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