EdTech startup Smart Sparrow lands $10 million investment from college testing firm ACT to accelerate work in learning innovation
Australia-based EdTech startup Smart Sparrow has landed $10 million strategic investment from ACT, the nonprofit behind the ACT college admissions test. While millions of individuals take the ACT test each year, that’s just one aspect of the organization’s work. From elementary school through career, ACT offers individuals a uniquely integrated set of solutions designed to provide personalized insights throughout their life. ACT is the nonprofit developer of the ACT® test and other assessments taken by millions of individuals annually worldwide. In April, 2017 Smart Sparrow raised $5.3 million in Series C funding round to expand its platform to the US market. To date, Smart Sparrow has a raised a total of $23.5 million in funding.
“We have long admired ACT’s leadership in education research and efficacy, which reflects our own heritage as a university-incubated technology,” said Dror Ben-Naim, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Smart Sparrow. “This new association will help us deliver on our mission of putting amazing technology in the hands of global educators, so they can create dynamic learning experiences that authentically blend learning and assessment. Educators will be better equipped to address the needs of their individual learners, and prepare them to be deep thinkers and creative problem solvers.”
Headquartered in Australia and San Francisco, Smart Sparrow was founded in 2010 by Ariel Shoham, Dror Ben-Naim, Shaowei Ho and Zack Belinson. Smart Sparrow is an adaptive e-Learning platform that lets anyone create interactive and adaptive learning experiences. The company is a global leader in adaptive and personalized learning technology. Their courseware development platform and instructional design suite are used by more than 10,000 faculty members worldwide, and educators have created more than 20,000 unique digital learning experiences such as simulations, smart lessons, and interactive blended or online courses over the past five years. The company often collaborates with customers to help them develop learning solutions tailored to the needs of their students.
ACT is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success. Headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa, ACT is trusted as a leader in college and career readiness, providing high-quality assessments grounded in nearly 60 years of research. Throughout its near 60-year history, ACT has earned a reputation for its expertise in assessment. Strategic investments such as those in Smart Sparrow are enabling ACT to expand and enhance its impact on learning and assessment.
“ACT recognizes the outstanding learning capabilities Smart Sparrow has brought to the global market, representing the leading edge of education technology and an abiding commitment to the role of great teachers,” said Marten Roorda, ACT chief executive officer. “This move is consistent with ACT’s ambition to become a learning company, the value that we place on personalization, and our commitment to develop adaptive learning. By investing in Smart Sparrow, we’ll be helping people around the world learn more efficiently and effectively than ever before.”
As a result of ACT’s investment, the two organizations will collaborate to accelerate work in learning innovation and expand upon their shared mission to help individuals succeed academically, and make successful transitions into the career pathways of tomorrow. ACT joins other investors including Moelis Australia Asset Management, Yellow Brick Capital Advisers, OneVentures, and Uniseed.