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Pearson Acquires Digital Credentialing Leader Credly

Pearson Aims to Fast Track Company’s Growth in Workforce Skills Market with the
Addition of Trusted Credentialing Services

Pearson, the world’s leading digital media learning company, announced it has acquired Credly, the market leader in digital workforce credentialing. The acquisition of Credly, in which Pearson has a nearly 20% stake, will expand the company’s presence in the workforce skills sector, adding a robust credentialing service to its workforce analysis, learning and assessment capabilities.

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“The Credly acquisition is another important step in accelerating our strategy in the workforce skills market and in building connectivity across the entire Pearson portfolio. The growing skills gap is putting enormous pressure on the labor market, making verified credentials more essential than ever before,” said Andy Bird, chief executive of Pearson.

“We originally invested in Credly in 2018 because we recognized its potential and have been impressed with the strong management team and their deep understanding of the talent market. This acquisition will help us address the unique challenges that employers and consumers face during this era of profound change in the world.”

Credly offers an easy-to-use platform for organizations, companies and educational institutions to award employees and workers trusted digital credentials that verify their skills and help connect them with the right opportunities. The company’s talent mobility solutions help businesses recruit, engage, and develop their workforce, with a skills-based approach to talent management that operates at enterprise scale.

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More than 2000 organizations use Credly and since its inception, Credly has issued 50 million credentials to 25 million consumers, making it the world’s largest professional credentialing marketplace.

“This exciting move combines Credly’s expertise in the skills economy with the global scale, learning expertise and financial strength of Pearson,” said Jonathan Finkelstein, founder and CEO of Credly. “Joining forces accelerates the realization of our vision to build a world where every person can achieve their full potential based on their verified skills and where organizations can make better human capital decisions and build more equitable workforces using trusted information about what people know and can do.”

The combination of Credly and Pearson will create a powerful solution to help serve the massive global workforce learning market, now estimated at c.$370bn. Credly will join Pearson’s other recent acquisition – Faethm – at the heart of its Workforce Skills division with both complementing the company’s expertise in reskilling and workforce learning.  This will enable Pearson to serve employers and employees together in a single ecosystem, helping employers understand labor market dynamics while helping workers gain skills to boost their employment prospects. The full Credly team, including Finkelstein, will join Pearson. Credly will continue to do business as usual under its new ownership structure.

The purchase price for Credly, including Pearson’s existing stake, represents a total value of $200m, which will be funded from Pearson’s existing cash and available liquidity. This comprises a total upfront consideration of c.$140m, Pearson’s existing stake valued at c.$40m and a deferred consideration.

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

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