ETS creates investment arm to spur business growth

ETS, the educational assessment company based in Princeton, has created an investment- and growth-focused unit, called ETS Strategic Capital.

The company said the new endeavor will focus on growing the business and advancing its mission through equity investments, growth partnerships and mergers & acquisitions.

ETS Strategic Capital is intended to broaden, expand and diversify the company’s offerings in assessment, learning and development for the educational field, ETS said. It is actively seeking transactions that will establish a global portfolio of innovative education companies.

“We’ve reached a pivotal point in the ongoing evolution of education — there is a fundamental change in how educational services are delivered, how tools and assessments are structured and how learners, schools and companies are engaged and connected,” Ralph Taylor-Smith, the managing director of ETS Strategic Capital, said in a prepared statement. “With our funding, expertise and experience in education, ETS Strategic Capital is well-positioned to help emerging education companies that are addressing these gaps grow and increase their impact, while tapping into new opportunities.

“ETS brings value-add capabilities in assessments, research & development, global distribution and innovative technologies to our portfolio and partner companies.”

ETS Strategic Capital currently has five companies in its portfolio:

  • ApplyBoard Inc., a Canadian platform for international student recruitment;
  • Capti (by Charmtech Labs LLC), a Buffalo, New York-based provider of personal literacy and learning support for K-12 students;
  • EdAgree Inc., a spinout of ETS that matches international students with universities;
  • com, a software platform that connects prospective students with graduate programs;
  • Pipplet, a French startup specializing in language assessment for businesses.

Taylor-Smith, currently the vice president of corporate development at ETS, is moving into the new role with a wealth of experience in private equity and M&A, the company noted.