On June 1, Francisco Partners, an investment firm that focuses on technology, officially acquired VitalSource to broaden its investments in digital education. With this new investment, Francisco partners gain more than 25 years of experience in digital learning platforms, implemented across the world.
Founded in 1994, VitalSource has improved the online course materials market. Over the years, it has created new learning solutions targeting automated course creation, branded digital stores, offered course materials access and affordability, as well as digital content authoring. They have also partnered with more than 1,000 publishers to help support its mission.
The name VitalSource may be unfamiliar to many, but its solutions are used by 16 millions of professors, students and HigherEd professionals every day in more than 240 countries. You may have heard of Acrobatiq, SmartStart, Bookshelf, Intrepid or Verba. They are all part of the VitalSource portfolio.
Prior to the sale to Francisco Partners, VitalSource was owned by Ingram Content Group. When Ingram Content Group acquired VitalSource in 2006, it wanted to grow the company into a larger player in the HigherEd digital learning solutions and helped diversify its company portfolio, which included the publishing of physical books and brick-and-mortar library solutions.
Joining Francisco Partners
When Francisco Partners announced in April its intention to acquire VitalSource, it wanted to improve the affordability and learning experience for all students. The next growth phase for VitalSource will be supported by Francisco Partners in leveraging the education technology investment expertise for the latter. In addition to VitalSource, Francisco Partners currently owns Renaissance Learning, Civitas Learning and Discovery Education. It also used to own Ex Libris, from 2006 to 2008.