Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Grockit Rebrands to Learnist as Kaplan Acquires Test Prep Assets

Big news today! The company who I work for Grockit, sold it’s test prep assets and now I’m working for Grockit’s spinoff – Learnist. This is great news for the Learnist team as we forge ahead with renewed vigor and money! I’ll keep you informed of our activities and meanwhile you can enjoy reading Learnist Boards on this blog – on the right hand side of this page.

Kaplan, the massive test preparation and professional training company, announced Wednesday that it has acquired the assets of Grockit, the education technology startup that offers test-prep services via online social learning games.

As a result of the acquisition, Grockit’s founders and employees will rebrand to become Learnist, shifting their attention to the company’s Pinterest-like, app-based approach to socialized learning using lessons created from curated content around the Web.

Exact terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Learnist founder Farbood Nivi said the additional capital will give Learnist enough room to operate without having to worry about raising money for some time.

“Selling Grockit gives us considerable runway without any dilution of shares,” Nivi told AllThingsD.

Founded in 2006, Grockit has seen success as a collaborative learning site operating on the assumption that students learn best through peer-to-peer communication. The site has seen steady growth over time, and its paid offerings have produced a revenue-generating business that Nivi and Learnist CEO Roy Gilbert focused on for much of the past seven years.

Last year, Nivi, Gilbert and the 26-person San Francisco-based team shifted their attention from Grockit to focus the entirety of their efforts on developing the Learnist product, which has seen modest growth over the year since it first launched.

The Grockit business, although still running and generating revenue, shifted to the background.

“The key element here for us is really about focus,” CEO Gilbert said in an interview.

Kaplan’s asset acquisition takes the technology, the brand and the business of Grockit, but none of the company’s team. Learnist’s employees will continue to operate out of San Francisco, and will use the new capital injection on growing the Learnist user base.

Kaplan Acquires Grockit Social Learning Platform & Test Prep Assets

NEW YORK, Jul 31, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Kaplan, the industry leader in test prep worldwide, has acquired the test prep assets and social learning platform of Grockit, Inc., a San Francisco-based pioneer in social learning applications and technologies. GSV Advisors acted as exclusive financial advisor to Grockit in this transaction.

Grockit, Inc. was founded in 2007 to improve academic achievement and extend learning outside of the classroom by advancing online social learning as the dominant instructional design. Grockit branded test prep has since helped over a million users around the world prepare for various tests including the SAT, ACT, GMAT, GRE and LSAT through its social learning platform. The company is rebranding as Learnist and is now focused on developing learning products outside of test prep markets.

"We've long recognized the Grockit team as innovators in social learning and gamification, and the company's initiatives are consistent with our efforts to improve student outcomes through learning science," said Rochelle Rothstein, Executive Vice President, Kaplan Test Prep. "As we seek to better understand the role of social learning and gamification in test prep effectiveness, the acquisition of Grockit branded assets accelerates our efforts. We're looking forward to exploring platform synergies to improve our student experience."

"We're proud of our pioneering work in social learning, and can't think of a team that's better positioned to take our platform to the next level than Kaplan, the recognized leader in test prep," said Roy Gilbert, CEO of Grockit. "We're confident in Kaplan's ability to continue innovating on the Grockit platform, and excited to direct our full attention to Learnist, our web and mobile social learning app focused on broader social learning."

Grockit introduced its Learnist product in 2012 to enable people from all around the world use the web and mobile application to teach and learn from rich media assembled by experts across the community.



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