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Blackboard Acquires ParentLink

Two K-12 Leaders Join Forces to Bring Innovative Communication Solutions to Market

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackboard Inc. has acquired ParentLink, uniting two of the leading providers of K-12 communications, the company announced today. The combination will create a powerful approach to K-12 community engagement intended to increase parent involvement and improve student success.

Having served the K-12 market for over 20 years, ParentLink currently supports more than eight thousand schools across the country. With some of the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the industry, the company's communication tools serve as a primary delivery method for various district information systems and are designed to increase community engagement.

Today's announcement marks the latest investment by Blackboard to increase its K-12 focus and continued delivery of solutions designed specifically for the industry. This includes the release of new solutions for blended and flipped classrooms, as well as enhanced distance learning tools for teacher professional development. As a result of these activities and investments, Blackboard's learning and communication solutions are now being used by more than half of the school districts in the country.

"We are committed to the K-12 community and supporting schools in getting parents more involved in the learning experience, which is critical to student success," said Jay Bhatt, CEO of Blackboard. "Some of the more dramatic changes in education today are happening at the K-12 level and technology is playing a growing role. With ParentLink, we will bring an unmatched expertise and passion to our industry with a razor sharp focus on making a meaningful difference in the lives of the students, parents and schools we serve through highly innovative technology."

"We couldn't be more excited to join the Blackboard family and partner with a company that shares our mission of improving K-12 education through better communications," said John Graff, CEO and founder of ParentLink. "By leveraging the full strength of Blackboard's solutions portfolio alongside ParentLink's customer-centric tools, we will propel how schools are engaging with parents, students and teachers, and help create a more informed and involved community."

This is the latest move in the company's updated acquisition strategy that focuses on investing in transformative innovation, promoting business integration and expanding the company's ability to truly make a difference in education.

Vista Point Advisors, a San Francisco based boutique investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Parlant Technology, ParentLink's parent company.

For more information about Blackboard, please visit or follow @Blackboard on Twitter.

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard is the world's leading education technology company. We challenge conventional thinking and advance new models of learning in order to reimagine education and make it more accessible, engaging and relevant to the modern-day learner and the institutions that serve them. In partnership with our customers and partners in higher education and K-12 as well as corporations and government agencies around the world, our mission is to help every learner achieve their full potential by inspiring a passion for lifelong learning. For more information about Blackboard, follow us on Twitter @Blackboard.

Source: Blackboard Inc.