Austin-based LivingTree acquires DC school fundraising platform Edbacker - DC


Feb. 2, 2018 10:29 am

Austin-based LivingTree acquires DC school fundraising platform Edbacker

Edbacker Founder Gary Hensley is now CEO of LivingTree.

Edbacker was founded to address education funding.

(Photo via Facebook)

D.C.–based school district fundraising platform Edbacker has been acquired by the Austin, Texas-based school messaging app LivingTree. With the deal, Edbacker founder Gary Hensley has been named CEO of LivingTree. Hensley and the company are also relocating to Texas.

“We’re on a mission to expand our solution set to fully serve district needs with one comprehensive LivingTree platform,” LivingTree Chairman Dean Drako said in a statement. “Hensley has a proven record in developing technology that solves critical gaps at the district level and will only continue to increase LivingTree’s engagement impact.”

The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Edbacker was founded in 2011, and was funded by a number of D.C. accelerators and individuals, including 1776, Moonshots Capital, Blackboard founder Michael Chasen, Capital Factory of Austin, and DC’s Acrebay Investment Management. The platform will be incorporated into LivingTree’s services and rebranded as LivingTree Give, joining Edbacker’s other products – LivingTree Engage and LivingTree Messenger.

The platforms will “offer the necessary tools to deepen parent involvement with teachers, deliver increased student achievement, and strengthen communication,” Hensley said in a statement.

Before founding Edbacker, Hensley was hired as the director of strategic partnerships and product management at Pearson, after it bought his K-12 dropout prevention software.

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