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Lightspeed Systems Expands Digital Learning Offering with Acquisition of CatchOn

Lightspeed Systems, a trusted partner in learning safety and effectiveness, announced that it has acquired the ENA affiliate CatchOn, Inc.. CatchOn is a leading provider of learning analytics for schools, and with this acquisition, Lightspeed accelerates its mission of providing purpose-driven technology that fosters safe and effective learning solutions for K-12 students across a growing network of more than 32,000 schools. Lightspeed has completed this transaction with the continued investment support of funds affiliated with Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC (MDP), a leading private equity firm based in Chicago. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2016, CatchOn is a real-time data analytics provider that captures and shares insights on technology usage, data privacy, and student engagement to create more efficient and student-focused educational strategies. CatchOn empowers administrators to make data-informed decisions about students’ technology engagement and investment that enhance learning outcomes and enable higher quality learning experiences for all students. Combining Lightspeed’s market-leading online safety ecosystem with CatchOn’s pioneering data analytics tools creates an unparalleled, comprehensive suite of learning solutions tailored to meet the evolving needs of educators and their students.

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“We are thrilled to welcome CatchOn to the Lightspeed community,” said Brian Thomas, President & CEO of Lightspeed Systems. “Investment in education technology has never been higher or more critical, as administrators strive to better understand the technologies they are implementing, analyze outcomes and maximize the positive impact educators are having on students’ lives. CatchOn’s innovative data analytics tools are highly complementary to Lightspeed’s web-filtering, analytics, and online monitoring solutions. Together, we will have the technologies, capabilities, and team required to accelerate our mission of keeping students safe, and learning equitable and effective.”

Jena Draper, Founder of CatchOn, added: “Since 2016, CatchOn has been empowering education leaders to measure the effectiveness and usage of their online software application investments. In Lightspeed, we are confident that we have found the right home for our data analytics tool. With Lightspeed’s leadership in online safety monitoring and highly complementary capabilities, our combined company is well-positioned to become an even stronger partner for a growing network of educators.”

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Michael McKerley, President of ENA, said: “We are proud of the work we have done with CatchOn since 2018. With its proven technology, stellar team and strong momentum, CatchOn is poised for a bright future with Lightspeed. We are confident CatchOn customers will benefit from the enhanced services the combination of Lightspeed and CatchOn will provide, and we wish the entire CatchOn team nothing but the best as they enter their next phase of growth.”

With the support of MDP, Lightspeed continues to expand its presence in the growing domestic and international K-12 web-filtering and reporting, analytics, mobile device management and classroom management market. In 2021, the Lightspeed product team launched several innovative tools, including the Lightspeed Parent Portal™ and Lightspeed Alert™ with 24/7/365 human review.

William Blair & Company served as Lightspeed’s financial advisor and Alston & Bird provided legal counsel. Evercore served as CatchOn’s financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis and Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP provided legal counsel.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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