Pearson has acquired ed tech company Lumerit Education in a deal worth $29m.
The acquisition of the San Antonio, Texas-based company is Pearson's first in three years after selling various assets to become "a leaner, more efficient and more digital" company, including selling its US K12 public schools courseware business to Nexus in February.
Lumerit Education provides educational services for students, focusing on college degree completion and affordability in both consumer and corporate markets, while using data and analytics to match learner profiles to academic programmes, according to Pearson. It has served more than 24,000 students across the US and in 48 countries.
The company's 70 employees will join Pearson’s Online Learning Services business.
Pearson said it will use Lumerit’s technology to accelerate the growth of its Accelerated Pathways business, which as part of Pearson's Online Learning Services division works with employers to deliver education programmes to staff to help them get better qualified. Currently Pearson partners with large US employers such as Brinker, Manpower Group and the American Hotel & Lodging Association to offer career progression for their employees.
Anticipating this will be a big area of growth in the future, according to the Pearson Global Learner Survey, online education is expected to grow "significantly" over the next decade.
Pearson c.e.o. John Fallon said: "Pearson is committed to making education more affordable and accessible in all phases of life so that anyone with a desire to learn can have the opportunity to obtain the skills necessary to build a successful career.
"Lumerit’s team has had tremendous success opening doors to education by offering flexible and personalised learning that works no matter if you have a full-time job, are a single parent, are an 18-year old just out of high school, or even a combination of these. We’re excited to build on Lumerit’s rapid growth to expand opportunities for even more individuals looking to improve their lives through learning."
Ryan Yamane, Lumerit's president who co-founded the company in 2004 as CollegePlus, said: "Lumerit has built an organisation dedicated to using technology to serve students from all backgrounds and at all points in their lives. There is no better way for us to continue to build on this success than by combining our incredible talent and innovation with the reach and resources of Pearson."
In its third quarter trading update, covered at the end of September, Pearson reported a "weaker than expected" performance in its US higher education courseware business, with revenue down around 10%; however it said then it still expects revenues to stabilise for the whole group this year.