Irish start-up Robotify acquired by major US edtech provider

10 Nov 2021

Robotify founders Adam Dalton and Evan Darcy. Image: Robotify

Robotify’s computer science education platform recently drew the appreciation of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Edtech platform Robotify has been acquired by Imagine Learning, a major digital education provider in the US.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed but reports have valued the acquisition at €20m.

This is Imagine Learning’s first acquisition since its recent rebrand from Weld North Education. Prior to this, it acquired UK-led science education provider Twig Education. The Twig brand and its products have continued under the Imagine Learning umbrella, alongside the parent company’s flagship brand, Edgenuity.

Operating out of Talent Garden Dublin, Robotify helps young learners develop computer science and coding skills through virtual robotics simulation tools.

“Too many schools across the US lack the resources to properly staff or equip a robotics programme,” said Jonathan Grayer, chair and CEO of Imagine Learning. “Robotify solves this with a digital-first approach to provide greater opportunity to students by using virtual robots to make coding accessible to all.”

Grayer added that Robotify’s accessible approach computer science education could become an important part of the K-12 education landscape in the US. “Through the power of digital education, we are making learning more equitable, more collaborative and personalised, always advancing with students at the centre,” he said.

‘This is only just the beginning’

Co-founders Adam Dalton and Evan Darcy were still students themselves when they started Robotify in 2015. Since then they have secured seed funding from Enterprise Ireland and angel investors, and been recognised as a high-potential start-up by Enterprise Ireland.

CEO Dalton said he was proud of the “phenomenal journey” his start-up has had so far.

“This is only just the beginning,” he said. “Joining Imagine Learning helps bring us closer to our goal of making programming more accessible to young minds around the globe.”

Imagine Learning claims to reach more than 10m students in school districts across the states.

With its eye always on the US market, courses from Robotify have been developed to US Computer Science Teachers Association standards.

Robotify recently partnered with Woz Ed, Steve Wozniak’s STEM curriculum provider. The Apple co-founder later spoke at the company’s virtual expo.

Outside of school-level education, the company secured a contract with the European Space Agency to provide robotics simulations for businesses using real-time satellite imagery from the Sentinel 1 and 2 satellites.

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Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.