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Pearson acquires credentialing firm Credly in $200 million deal

Pearson announced Monday that it has acquired Credly, a New York-based company that enables firms to issue and manage digital badges and credentials to verify workers’ skills. 

Pearson, which already had a nearly 20 percent stake in Credly, said the acquisition will expand its presence in the workforce skills sector and add a strong credentialing service to its existing workforce analysis and learning portfolio.

The purchase price for Credly, including Pearson’s existing 20 percent stake, is $200 million.

“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,” said Andy Bird, CEO of Pearson in a news release. “The growing skills gap is putting enormous pressure on the labor market, making verified credentials more essential than ever before.”

This acquisition follows Pearson’s 2021 buy of Faethm, a workforce AI and predictive analytics platform.

Pearson originally invested in Credly in 2018. Bird said he believes Credly complements Pearson’s recent acquisition of Faethm, which the company acquired to better work with employers and employees to identify skills needs and provide learning to address those needs along with credentials to prove proficiency.

More than 2,000 organizations use Credly, according to a Pearson press release. Credly has issued 50 million credentials to 25 million consumers and has become the world’s largest professional credentialing marketplace.

Pearson acquires credentialing firm Credly in $200 million deal | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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