Mike Isaac

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Grockit Rebrands to Learnist as Kaplan Acquires Test Prep Assets

grockitKaplan, the massive test preparation and professional training company, announced Wednesday that it has acquired the assets of Grockit, the education technology startup that offers test-prep services via online social learning games.

As a result of the acquisition, Grockit’s founders and employees will rebrand to become Learnist, shifting their attention to the company’s Pinterest-like, app-based approach to socialized learning using lessons created from curated content around the Web.

Exact terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Learnist founder Farbood Nivi said the additional capital will give Learnist enough room to operate without having to worry about raising money for some time.

“Selling Grockit gives us considerable runway without any dilution of shares,” Nivi told AllThingsD.

Founded in 2006, Grockit has seen success as a collaborative learning site operating on the assumption that students learn best through peer-to-peer communication. The site has seen steady growth over time, and its paid offerings have produced a revenue-generating business that Nivi and Learnist CEO Roy Gilbert focused on for much of the past seven years.

Last year, Nivi, Gilbert and the 26-person San Francisco-based team shifted their attention from Grockit to focus the entirety of their efforts on developing the Learnist product, which has seen modest growth over the year since it first launched.

The Grockit business, although still running and generating revenue, shifted to the background.

“The key element here for us is really about focus,” CEO Gilbert said in an interview.

Kaplan’s asset acquisition takes the technology, the brand and the business of Grockit, but none of the company’s team. Learnist’s employees will continue to operate out of San Francisco, and will use the new capital injection on growing the Learnist user base.


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