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Community Brands strengthens education pitch with Groupcall buy

US firm snaps up UK education specialist to react to changes in the schools market

Schools specialist Community Brands has acquired fellow education player Groupcall to strengthen the range of services it can provide.

Groupcall has been around for 17 years and was set up by Lawrence and Joanne Royston, together with Boomtown Rat and charity giant Sir Bob Geldof.

The firm sells data aggregation and analytics, identity management and payment and parental engagement software to a range of customers including schools, academy trusts, local authorities and it works with other education software developers.

The firm employs 70 staff with a head office in London and its software is used by more than 20,000 schools.

Lawrence Royston will continue to lead Groupcall as managing director and will help the firm work with its fresh owner, Community Brands, which delivers cloud based software to schools and has previously indicated that it will use acquisition as a means of keeping up with changes in the education landscape.

“Managing and overseeing a successful school looks completely different today,” said Jean-Paul Guilbault, president and CEO of Community Brands.

“Like other organisations, schools are going through a digital transformation, which has changed the way they attract, engage, and support students and their families. With a complete portfolio of increasingly integrated solutions, we are making this dynamic easier for schools and we are very excited about the new capabilities and expertise Groupcall brings,” he said.

The US firm hinted that there was more to come indicating that its "research and development teams are nearing completion of other important integration projects".

In response Royston said that the deal would bring together two of the largest educational software specialists.

“The executives and employees of both companies share a common belief about how technology can help schools, students and families," he said.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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