Startups

DC edtech darling EverFi just got acquired by Blackbaud in a $750M deal

The move follows a 2021 deal in which Florida's Vector Solutions acquired the company's higher education business for $100 million. And yes, EverFi will be hiring in 2022, its COO said.

EverFi's leadership team in 2021.

(Courtesy photo)

In a deal valued at $750 million, education and social impact tech firm EverFi has been acquired by South Carolina cloud software firm Blackbaud.

DC-based EverFi counts an audience of over 45 million learners worldwide, in addition to corporate partners, which it supports in social responsibility goals. Blackbaud paid $450 million in cash plus $300 million for 3,844,423 shares of EverFi’s stock, subject to “certain customary adjustments,” according to the local company.

EverFi founder and CEO Tom Davidson will join Blackbaud, as will the rest of its leadership team. The company will maintain its offices in DC and the UK, COO Ellen Patterson told Technical.ly.

“We’ve long sought a partnership whereby there would be one definitive leader in the social impact space, and we really believe that with these two organizations coming together, that time has come,” Patterson said. “Together we will be two of the largest technology players in the social impact space creating one definitive leader for corporate social relations [CSR] and environment, social, governance [ESG] solutions.”

Through the acquisition deal, Blackbaud and EverFi have plans to continue progressing in data-driven cloud software focused on social impact. Both companies will also make gains in the number of K-12 schools and corporate partners they work with. EverFi is expected to add $120 million in 2022 in revenue to Blackbaud, with a year-over-year growth rate near 20%.

"Blackbaud and EverFi really share a sense of purpose with strong, mission-driven cultures united in the commitment to our customers, innovation, social impact and to our people."
EverFi COO Ellen Patterson

“As companies continue to invest further in ESG and CSR programs to both give back and meet regulatory demands, they need a partner who can help connect their philanthropic goals to meaningful social impact opportunities,” Blackbaud President and CEO Mike Gianoni said in a statement. “Blackbaud and EVERFI will work together to realize a shared vision of measurable social impact through world-class technology.”

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For the rest of 2022, Patterson said, EverFi will first be focusing on a smooth transition with this acquisition. But in the time following, she noted plans for robust hiring in the new year. She said that the company currently has 50 open positions on its site — in its DC and London offices and remote — and plans to add even more as the deal moves forward.

“This acquisition is premised on the business case and growth and accelerating expansion for both organizations,” Patterson said. “So it’s really business as usual, with a great organization surrounding us to help augment that.”

It’s not the first time EverFi has made acquisition headlines. In July 2021, the company’s higher education business was acquired by Florida’s Vector Solutions for $100 million. Included in the acquisition were EverFi’s online training programs for colleges and universities, and its Campus Prevention Network. EverFi said at the time that it intended to continue its platform for K-12 learners. In 2019, EverFi also closed an international acquisition deal of London-based EdComs, an education insight and marketing company.

“Everything that was part of the sale of our higher education businesses past summer was really to continue to focus on the core of our business and be able to accelerate that growth,” Patterson said. “That really positioned us well for this opportunity with Blackbaud.”

This move is also the latest in high-profile M&A moves starring DC edtech companies. In 2021, DC giant Blackboard announced that it would be merging with Florida software company Anthology. And in November, Lanham, Maryland’s 2U officially completed its $800 million acquisition of Cambridge, Massachusetts education platform edX.

“One of the most important aspects of a successful merger is seeing a cultural alignment,” Patterson said. “I’ve seen the beginnings of this, that Blackbaud and EverFi really share a sense of purpose with strong, mission-driven cultures united in the commitment to our customers, innovation, social impact and to our people. And we’re really excited to be on this journey with Blackbaud.”

Companies: EverFi
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