SAN FRANCISCO — Dec. 22, 2020 — Gryphon Investors (“Gryphon”), a leading middle-market private equity firm, announced today that it has become the majority investor in Meazure Learning (“Meazure” or the “Company”), a full-service exam delivery and online proctoring solution provider for academic, professional, and lifelong learners. Existing sponsor Eastside Partners will retain a significant ownership stake, as will the Company’s management team, including go-forward CEO Scott McFarland. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Meazure Learning is the world’s largest remote exam proctoring company, also offering a full suite of assessment products and services, including proprietary exam development and delivery software as well as reporting and psychometric services, to the academic and professional testing markets. Based in Birmingham, AL, the Company employs nearly 300 people plus a network of over 1,300 trained proctors, and it serves more than 1,000 clients including major universities, certification and licensure associations, standardized testing services, and corporations.
Nick Orum, President and Co-Head of Gryphon’s Software Group, said, “Gryphon has invested previously in the education sector, and we are excited by the trends we’re seeing in the continued intersection of technology and learning. The increasing consumer preference for digitally driven flexibility has opened up a multi-billion-dollar market opportunity in the academic and professional remote testing spaces. We are thrilled to partner with the team at Meazure as we look to welcome new customers and reinforce the Company’s position as the most secure, convenient, and accessible experience for test-takers across the globe.”
Meazure’s management team will continue to be led by CEO McFarland and President Sandy Pitman. As part of the new partnership, Mr. Orum will join the Board of Directors, along with three additional Gryphon executives. Carl Theobald, Software Operating Partner, Jon Cheek, Principal in the Software Group, and Paul Margolis, Executive Advisor to Gryphon’s Software Group, will all join Eastside Partner Benjamin Cobb, who remains on the board.
Mr. Cheek commented, “Even before COVID-19, remote test-taking was undergoing a ‘Blockbuster to Netflix’ type transformation due to massive expansion in e-learning, a proliferation of professional training and certification programs, and a growing recognition of the test-taker convenience and cost savings offered by an online approach versus in-person testing. The pandemic has accelerated these growth trends beyond all expectations and given strong players like Meazure an enormous competitive advantage.”
Mr. Cobb added, “The pandemic has required many test owners to adopt remote proctoring solutions this year, often against the backdrop of 20+ years of in-person testing. We’ve helped testing organizations transition from uncertainty to excitement with remote testing due to some of its unique advantages – secure, safe, convenient, on-demand testing with global candidate reach. We’re excited to partner with Gryphon to better serve our customers and scale our solutions to support test owners whose needs aren’t being met.”
“We are delighted to partner with Gryphon as we plan for near-term, rapid expansion fueled by a changing industry and shifting expectations and requirements by test-takers,” said Mr. McFarland. “Their investment will allow us to solidify our position as a best-in-class remote testing and exam integrity platform and accelerate growth, both organically and through strategic acquisitions.”
Baird acted as financial advisor to Gryphon, and Raymond James was the financial advisor to Meazure. Kirkland & Ellis acted as legal advisor to Gryphon, and Bradley acted as legal advisor to Meazure. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
About Meazure Learning
Meazure Learning (www.meazurelearning.com) is a full-service testing solutions company for academic, professional and lifelong learners. The result of a merger between ProctorU – the world’s largest provider of online, artificial-intelligence-augmented exam security and identity management solutions – and Yardstick Assessment Strategies – a leader in psychometrics and computer-based examination administration for professional testing organizations – Meazure Learning serves the higher education market via the ProctorU brand and the professional testing market via the Yardstick brand. As the first end-to-end testing provider to lead with an online delivery model, Meazure Learning is transforming the testing and assessment landscape.
About Gryphon Investors
Based in San Francisco, Gryphon Investors (www.gryphoninvestors.com) is a leading private equity firm focused on profitably growing and competitively enhancing middle-market companies in partnership with experienced management. The firm has managed over $5.0 billion of equity investments and capital since 1997. Gryphon targets making equity investments of $50 million to $300 million in portfolio companies with enterprise values ranging from approximately $100 million to $500 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form strong partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, specialized professional resources, and operational expertise.