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Texas tech firm acquires High Alpha's ClearScholar

June 12, 2018

Indianapolis-based ClearScholar Inc. has been acquired by Civitas Learning Inc., an Austin, Texas-based education-tech company that supplies its data-gathering and packaging platform to more than 350 colleges and universities.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2016, ClearScholar is the second company in the High Alpha portfolio to be snapped up in the last four months. Locally based High Alpha is a startup studio that provide expertise and capital to launch companies that backers hope will generate big returns.

In March, Indianapolis-based tech firm Octiv Inc. was acquired by Conga, a Colorado-based document automation firm with about 350 employees. It is expected to retain its local presence.

In February, ClearScholar counted six employees including CEO Jason Konesco. With the acquisition, four members of the ClearScholar team will join the Civitas Learning staff while continuing to work in Indianapolis. Konesco will support the company's transition and strategic initiatives as an advisor until he moves on to new ventures, according to Civitas officials. How long Konsesco will remain with Civitas is unclear.

ClearScholar, a company that produces software that helps colleges and universities deliver tailored information to their students, already had a relationship with Civitas. In February, it announced a partnership with the Texas firm that was expected to result in significant growth.

That partnership, ClearScholar officials said at the time, would allow Civitas to integrate ClearScholar’s software into its platform. Key to ClearScholar's software is the ability to get information to students' mobile devices. At the time, ClearScholar had deals to provide its mobile app to just six schools, including Butler University.

ClearScholar officials estimated the deal would help it grow from six to 25 employees within a year and up to 60 full-time employees by 2020.

It’s unclear if those growth plans in Indianapolis are still in play.

“At Civitas, we are obsessed with helping our institutional partners use intelligence to effectively personalize support for their students, and that obsession manifests across the tools we provide today for students, advisors, faculty, and administrators,” Civitas Learning founder and CEO Charles Thornburgh said in a media statement. “In ClearScholar, we have found a mobile product—and team—that shares our passion for personalizing student support and uses that focus to drive the highest student engagement rates in higher education”    

Since Octiv was formed before High Alpha's founding in 2015 and subsequently was grandfathered into the studio, ClearScholar is the first company started out of High Alpha to be acquired.

It’s been a big year for locally-based High Alpha. In addition to the two acquisitions, two other High Alpha portfolio companies—Structural and Zylo—had sizable funding rounds.

 

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