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Swiss player Avallain gains UK foothold with TeacherMatic buy

Avallain responds to growing impact of artificial intelligence in education with acquisition of specialist firm in UK

Swiss education player Avallain has sealed the acquisition of fellow edtech player TeacherMatic in a move that will provide the firm with a foothold in the UK.

London-based TeacherMatic specialises in developing generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) toolsets for educators and will add more geographic coverage to a business with locations in Switzerland, the US and Kenya.

The acquisition will bolster Avallain’s own AI strategy, which focuses on using technology to help educators with remediation and copyright protection.

Ursula Suter, co-founder and executive chairwoman at Avallain, said the company wanted to strengthen its position in the face of AI evolution.

“We see this joining of forces with TeacherMatic as a crucial step to counter the main risks from GenAI while also benefiting educators, and education in general, in a manner that will cater to high-quality educational publishing and learning outcomes,” said Suter.

“For many years, we have been delivering grounded and considered educational innovation. With TeacherMatic, we will continue to do that and more. Our product suite achieves both high-quality education and commercial viability with success for all parties involved.”

In response, Peter Kilcoyne, managing director of TeacherMatic, said the deal would help the business tap into wider expertise and enhance its future position.

“TeacherMatic was formed by a group of lifelong educators with the aim of making GenAI available and accessible to all teaching staff to help reduce workloads and improve creativity,” he said.

“We see the ethical, technical and educational principles that drive both Avallain and TeacherMatic make this a partnership that will benefit both organisations, as well as our customers and all teachers and students in organisations that we support,” he added.

At the same time, Avallain announced that it had appointed Rose Luckin, a professor at University College London and the founder of Educate Ventures Research, to its advisory board. She has spent three decades looking at how AI is affecting education and will be able to bring that expertise to bear.

The Swiss player also cut the ribbon on the Avallain Lab, with John Traxler, who holds chairs from the Commonwealth of Learning for innovations in higher education, and from Unesco for Innovative Informal Digital Learning in Disadvantaged and Development Context as academic director. The lab was incubated last year with a remit to provide research around product development for partners.

The UK continues to be an attractive market for foreign firms looking to expand their base. Last month, Danish security, networking and cloud player Conscia added more depth to its digital transformation offerings and entered the UK market with the acquisition of Portsmouth-based ITGL.

South African firm CloudSmiths has also taken steps to expand its reach through a series of partnerships with UK partners in recent weeks. It has struck up partnerships with a number of UK players, including Cymetri, Grafana Labs, i-10, Leadex and Xactly Corporation.

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