Since the first bootcamp acquisition in June 2014, we’ve seen several coding bootcamps get acquired by a range of companies from for-profit education companies (Capella Education), to co-working companies (WeWork), and other coding bootcamps (Thinkful + Bloc)! With rapid market growth in the bootcamp industry, for-profit education companies are taking note. These acquisitions and consolidations should come as no surprise, and some have been very successful, with schools going on to increase their number of campuses and course offerings. As coding bootcamps become more mature, we are seeing them get snapped up by more well-known companies, for increasingly large sums (e.g. General Assembly for $413 million!) We’ll keep this chronologically-ordered list updated as bootcamps announce future acquisitions.
Although this was the first acquisition in the coding bootcamp industry, it wasn’t Kaplan’s first foray into coding bootcamps- they launched data science bootcamp Metis in Boston and New York in early 2014. On the Dev Bootcamp blog, president Jon Stowe emphasizes that the company will remain under current leadership, growing "our vision as an independent entity, under the Dev Bootcamp brand and with our unique culture." Dave Hoover tweeted similarly that "thanks to #holacracy, the employees of @devbootcamp will retain control of all the secret sauce of our culture."
Zipfian Academy was one of the first data science bootcamps in the US, and after one year of success, joined Denver-based education & coworking powerhouse Galvanize. Zipfian co-founder and CEO Ryan Orban joined the Galvanize team as EVP of Product and Strategy. At the time, Galvanize (which was then called gSchool) had not yet developed a data science curriculum. Galvanize now offers a 12-week immersive and offers an interesting year-long data science degree through GalvanizeU.
BrainStation offers in-person and online programs, and was founded in 2012 in Toronto. Since the acquisition by Konrad Group, BrainStation has opened campuses in Vancouver, New York City, and San Jose.
Konrad Group committed US$10 million towards BrainStation's future expansion.
Since the acquisition, Austin-based bootcamp MakerSquare has expanded to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. Most notably, the curriculum evolved to teach MEAN Stack (like the other web development bootcamps in ReactorCore). Hack Reactor reorganized in October 2015 into parent company, ReactorCore, which manages a network of schools.
Learning House, a cloud based university software provider, and Software Guild (then called Software Craftsmanship Guild) had actually already collaborated to establish a bootcamp at Concordia University. This acquisition solidified their partnership, with founder Eric Wise still onboard as the Chief Academic Officer.
More coverage: Crain's Cleveland Business
While the details of this investment remain cloudy, an Apollo Education investor note states that Apollo "acquired a controlling interest in TIY Academy, LLC (“The Iron Yard”), which offers nondegree information technology bootcamp programs." Peter Barth remains CEO. Before acquiring The Iron Yard, Apollo Education owned and operated RockIT Bootcamp in several locations. Since acquiring TIY, RockIT Bootcamps no longer seem to be operating.
The value of this investment was not disclosed.
More coverage: Greenville Online
In September 2015, ReactorCore was announced as the parent company of Hack Reactor, Hack Reactor Remote Beta, MakerSquare, and Telegraph Academy. It’s first major move was to acquire Chicago-based mobile bootcamp Mobile Makers. Mobile Makers Academy Director of Education Jessi Chartier was promoted to CEO.
More coverage: EdSurge
New York Code & Design Academy, which offers web and mobile development courses, joined Strayer Education, which operates adult-education programs around the world.
No official price was disclosed, although NYCDA’s operating results will be included in Strayer Education, Inc.’s consolidated financial statements from the date of the acquisition. In Strayer Education’s Q1 2016 Earnings Call (transcript here), their team attributes $5 million as a portion of an “initial $7 million payment to the sellers of the New York Code and Design Academy.” NYCDA will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Strayer Education, Inc., and will maintain its current headquarters and management team based in New York City.
More coverage: NASDAQ
Neal Sales-Griffin and Mike McGee launched The Starter League in 2011, and the “coding bootcamp” as we know it was born. Five years later, The Starter League has become ingrained in Chicago’s tech ecosystem, and announced in March that they would be fully acquired by New York-based Fullstack Academy. This marks the first expansion by Fullstack Academy outside of New York City, and the start of a really neat partnership.
Not disclosed, although Starter League founder Neal Sales-Griffin said he will join Fullstack for at least three months to assist with the transition to 1871 and to help combine The Starter League's offerings into Fullstack's.
The Python software engineering school for women was acquired by Capella Education, which operates competency-based degree programs for working adults. Over 75% of Capella University’s learner population is female. Hackbright Academy operates as a subsidiary of Capella and remains committed to its mission to change the ratio of women software engineers in tech. Hackbright is headquartered in San Francisco, CA.
The transaction was closed on April 22, 2016 for a purchase price of $18 million paid in cash at closing. Hackbright Academy is now a wholly-owned, subsidiary of the Capella Education Company.
More coverage: Re/Code
Shortly after the announcement that Hackbright Academy would become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Capella Education, DevMountain announced a similar deal.
The transaction closed on May 4, 2016 for a purchase price of up to $20 million, of which $15 million was paid in cash at closing with up to an additional $5 million to be paid over a three-year period pending the achievement of certain annual revenue and operating performance metrics. DevMountain will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Capella and maintain its current headquarters and management team based in Provo, Utah.
More coverage: Beehive Startups
General Assembly, one of the largest coding bootcamps (and alternative education providers) in the US, acquired Toronto's Bitmaker Labs. This is General Assembly's first foray into Canada.
Undisclosed, but the Bitmaker brand (and reportedly the Bitmaker team) will stay intact.
More coverage: Venture Beat
New York coding bootcamp Flatiron School, which also has a fully online program, was acquired by co-working space giant WeWork as part of a flock of acquisitions including Meetup.com and SpaceMob. Since the acquisition, Flatiron School has announced a new campus at a WeWork space in Washington DC.
Undisclosed, but since opening in 2012, Flatiron School had raised $14 million in funding.
More Coverage: The Next Web
Online coding bootcamp Thinkful acquired Viking Code School, another online bootcamp, and The Odin Project, a free, open source learning platform. Both programs were run by Erik Trautman.
More Coverage: EdSurge
Undisclosed. However, Thinkful says that Bloc was not profitable at the time the deal closed.
One of the largest coding bootcamps in the world with 20 campuses worldwide, teaching subjects like Web Development, UX Design, and Data Science, General Assembly was acquired by European human resources services company Adecco Group.
Adecco paid $413 million for General Assembly, which according to Axios, had been valued at $440 million. Between 2011-2015, GA raised nearly $120 million in VC funding, and earned $100 million in revenue in 2017.
More Coverage: Tech Crunch
We’ll keep this chronologically-ordered list updated as bootcamps announce future acquisitions.
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