Now that the dust has settled from the transition into the 2020s, let’s take one last look at the mergers, acquisitions and investments of 2019, this time focusing on the fourth quarter.

Assessment and Evaluation

There were five deals in this sector last quarter: Employee engagement measurement company Emplify announced a $15 million investment led by Edison Partners; assessment content and technology company PSI Services, LLC, completed an equity investment led by Waud Capital Partners and then acquired Caliper the following month; workforce management software company Workforce Logiq acquired ENGAGE Talent, a predictive analytics company; and SHL acquired talent evaluation company Aspiring Minds.


In compliance training and health and safety, there were six deals in the fourth quarter: legal education company BARBRI acquired Kaplan’s Altior Consulting & Training business; Health & Safety Institute, an environmental health and safety training and compliance company, acquired industrial technologies training company Martech Media, Inc.; Pearson Ventures announced its first investments, including Springboard (a digital skills bootcamp) and Knowledge to Practice (a health care learning platform company); FFL Partners sold Crisis Prevention Institute to investment firm Wendel; Kanarys, Inc., focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, closed its first round of funding, a $1.5 million investment from multiple partners; and EdApp, a microlearning platform, closed a $4.25 million investment from safety solutions company SafetyCulture.

Content Development

Last quarter, Aliter Capital acquired digital learning company Sponge, and custom learning design company Allen Interactions acquired design thinking firm Problem Solutions.

Customer Education

Strigo, a customer training management company, closed a $2.5 million seed funding round led by Hanaco Ventures last quarter. Customer education and learning software company Intellum acquired content authoring and learning management system provider Appitierre.


Last quarter, Coveo, an artificial intelligence (AI) software as a service (SaaS) company whose use cases include learning and knowledge management, announced a $227 million in funding led by OMERS Growth Equity. EdtechX Holdings, an education services and technology acquisition company, announced a merger with Menten Education, an English language training company in China, Suma Capital invested in Implika, a Basque vocational training company, and e-learning agency GuyKat acquired MTE Professional Services.

IT and Technical Training

A lot of money exchanged hands in the information technology (IT) and technical training space last quarter. In addition to the previously mentioned Pearson Ventures investment in Springboard:

Several cybersecurity companies saw some activity:

Leadership Training

Among the largest segments of the training market, leadership development activity last quarter included VitalSmarts’ acquisition by Leeds Equity Partners (supported by Maranon Capital, L.P.); Korn Ferry’s $400 million senior notes offering; management and technology consulting firm Pariveda Solutions’ acquisition of leadership development firm Levinson & Co.; Cultivate announced an $8 million Series A investment, led by Trinity Ventures, for its AI-based leadership coaching platform; management training platform Verb raised $6.4 million in seed funding from angel investors; and Franklin Covey Co. repurchased $10 million of its common shares from Knowledge Capital Investment Group at $35.14 per share.

Learning Technologies

Like IT and technical training, the diverse learning technologies market saw a great deal of funding last quarter:

Immersive learning technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality picked up some steam last quarter:

Performance Management and Human Capital Management

This segment of the market includes companies that help clients manage employee performance and that provide human capital management (HCM) and related technologies:

Sales Training and Enablement

As sales enablement continues to innovate, and organizations continue to see the benefits of training and coaching, we’ll continue to see funding in this area like we did last quarter:

Other Deals, a Training Industry, Inc., partner, announced that its parent company, Educations Media Group, was acquired by investment firm Verdane. HR and finance consulting firm S&H announced a partnership with investment firm Ardian to reorganize its capital “through a financing operation amounting to 14 million euros” ($15.37 million), and Entangled Group, a “venture studio focused on the education ecosystem,” announced a $15 million Series B funding round led by Tencent that valued the company at almost $100 million.

In the education benefits arena, Bright Horizons acquired GP Strategies’ tuition program management services business, and Guild Education announced an investment from Stephen Curry, a professional basketball player, and Bryant Barr, president of Stephen Curry’s company, SC 30, Inc. Shortly thereafter, the company closed its $157 million Series D funding round, led by General Catalyst and its chairman and managing director, Ken Chenault. Guild is now valued at $1 billion.

What are your predictions for the training market for the next quarter? Do you have a tip? Let us know by tweeting us @TrainingIndustr or emailing us.