Blackboard Inc. has entered into definitive agreements to acquire both Elluminate, Inc. and Wimba, Inc., two providers of synchronous learning and collaboration technology to the education markets, for a total of approximately $116 million in cash, excluding transaction costs and subject to certain adjustments.
These leading teams and solutions together will form Blackboard Collaborate, the newest stand-alone platform in the company’s family of education solutions. Blackboard, combined with the teams from Elluminate and Wimba, will pursue greater innovation to meet growing needs in the area of synchronous learning and collaboration, including continued support for integrations with open source applications and other commercial learning management systems (LMS).
Elluminate and Wimba offer advanced virtual classroom technology that allows education institutions to hold synchronous live courses over the Web, including audio, video, white board and social learning capabilities. The technologies are used to supplement traditional courses, to support full distance learning courses, and to facilitate a variety of other collaborative interactions including virtual office hours, team meetings, professional development, student projects and mentoring and tutoring opportunities.
Together, Elluminate and Wimba serve more than 2,600 institutions in the U.S. K-12, U.S. higher education, international and professional education markets.
Elluminate, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, was founded in 2000 and employs approximately 140 professional staff.
Wimba, headquartered in New York, N.Y., was founded in 1998 and employs approximately 100 professional staff.