The Seattle-based retail giant said that it has reached an acquisition agreement with TenMarks, a company that works to provide K-12 students with a personalized math curriculum. The two companies plan to work together to provide multi-platform educational offerings.
TenMarks, backed by Catamount Ventures and Birchmere Ventures, gives teachers a system for teaching the Common Core Standards math curriculum through a self-directed web application, much like Khan Academy. At the moment, TenMarks offers its product through a freemium model, allowing teachers to sign up for free, but requiring that they pay for certain premium features.
It’s unclear yet what specific plans Amazon has for the partnership, but it would seem logical that the company wants to bolster the educational caché of its Kindle Fire tablets. While Amazon offers a variety of textbooks through the Kindle Store and heavily touts the Kindle’s e-reading capabilities, it doesn’t have a whole curriculum solution lined up. TenMarks could give Amazon the resources that it needs to create a first-party education curriculum that integrates with its existing hardware.
TenMarks also brings with it a massive install base of more than 25,000 schools in 7,000 districts. If Amazon can leverage those existing users to promote use of the Kindle in schools, that could prove quite profitable.
This isn’t the first educational acquisition for Amazon, which bought TeachStreet, an online marketplace that matched students with teachers, in 2012.
Assuming that everything goes according to plan, Amazon expects the acquisition to close in the fourth quarter of this year. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Amazon press release follows below.
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 10, 2013– Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire TenMarks, a company that is helping teachers and parents deliver innovative mathematics curriculum to students across the country.
“Amazon and TenMarks share the same passion for student learning. TenMarks’s award-winning math programs have been used by tens of thousands of schools and Amazon engages with millions of students around the world through our Kindle ecosystem,” said Dave Limp, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “Together, Amazon and TenMarks intend to develop rich educational content and applications, across multiple platforms, that we think teachers, parents and students will love.”
“Amazon and TenMarks share a commitment to developing easy-to-implement solutions for schools and families,” said Rohit Agarwal, TenMarks co-founder. “We currently offer teachers, students and parents access to effective resources to foster the vision of the Common Core curriculum in math, including scalable professional development and tools for connecting with parents. We back this belief with our business model, where teachers can register and access our product for free, while being able to opt in for premium features, if needed. Going forward, we believe Amazon and TenMarks will create significant innovations in the K-12 arena.”
“I’ve used TenMarks for the past two years at Grand View with fourth and fifth grade students to help a diverse group of students achieve in math and take ownership of their own learning,” said Sujata Bhatt, founder of the Incubator School and a National Board Certified teacher who spent 11 years at Grand View Boulevard Elementary in Los Angeles Unified School District. “As we launch the Incubator School this year, we focus on technology that truly activates learning and self-starting. TenMarks’s products are designed to enable both students and teachers to be in the driver’s seat by seeing where they’re successful and where they need to revisit. TenMarks is an important part of our math plan this year.”
TenMarks offers personalized online math instruction and practice in a clear, manageable format for K-12 students complete with helpful hints, video lessons, and real-time results. TenMarks’s products are designed to help students be individually motivated, engaged and nurtured.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Subject to various closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013.