Silicon Prairie News

ActiveGrade is acquired by Haiku Learning, says it’ll stay in Iowa City

Iowa City February 6, 2013 by Danny Schreiber Only 15 days until Big Omaha. Get your tickets before they sell out!

ActiveGrade, a startup established to help educators better track pupils' development, announced today it has signed an agreement to be acquired by Goshen, Ind.-based Haiku Learning Systems, a cloud-based learning management system.

"With the incredible talent behind Haiku, we'll be able to take standards-based grading to new places that we simply didn't have the resources for until now," the company said in a written statement today. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

After beginning work on the idea for ActiveGrade in 2010, the startup, founded by husband-and-wife team, Riley Eynon-Lynch and Michal Eynon-Lynch, both former teachers, added its third and final team member, Dan Sweeney, in January 2011. Sweeny joined the startup as its co-founder and director of design. In the fall of 2011, it launched with a couple hundred paying customers.

ActiveGrade opened the next year by closing a $200,000 round of financing, Michal Eynon-Lynch told us in February 2012, and adding a seven-member advisory board.

In August, when we last checked in with the company, Michal Eynon-Lynch told us that "lots of people (are) signing up for trials and schools are requesting invoices for whole schools."

The ActiveGrade team of three will be joining the Haiku team virtually, it said in a posted statement, keeping its Iowa City office "open and fully operational."

We've reached out to ActiveGrade since its announcement and have an interview scheduled with one of its co-founders later today. We'll provide updates to this story as necessary. In the meantime, see the company's statement below, which it shared in a tweet around 11 a.m., and check out its FAQ page on the acquisition.

More on ActiveGrade:


ActiveGrade + Haiku

We are excited to announce that we have signed an agreement to be acquired by Haiku Learning Systems, the incredible company behind the excellent learning management system Haiku LMS.

But, why?

Riley, Michal, Dan and our team have poured our hearts into building ActiveGrade for the last two and a half years and are incredibly proud of what we’ve created so far. Looking to the future, we saw an immediate need for additional resources to continue growing ActiveGrade.

Similarly, the team at Haiku have poured their hearts into Haiku LMS for nearly seven years and have created a product that teachers, students, and administrators genuinely enjoy using (a rare feat in the EdTech industry). A pressing need for a partner in standards-based grading started the conversation with ActiveGrade, and that conversation blossomed into a fantastic relationship.

With the incredible talent behind Haiku, we’ll be able to take standards-based grading to new places that we simply didn’t have the resources for until now.

What does this mean for your ActiveGrade gradebook?

ActiveGrade will remain online and supported with all of your data as safe and sound as you’ve come to expect from our team. Our team structure may look a bit different on the inside, but the product you know will continue on into the foreseeable future. We promise ample notice of any planned changes to the service in the long term.

The future of ActiveGrade with Haiku looks amazing. We're continuing our mission of making the best standards-based grading experience for educators and students. This means new features, new technologies, and new insights into your classroom data.

And the ActiveGrade team?

We'll be joining the Haiku team virtually, keeping our Iowa City office open and fully operational. We recently spent five days with the whole Haiku team in person and can say without any hesitation that they’re a wonderful group who share a passion for education and learning like no other. We had so much fun and gained so much insight that we’re already scheming ways to get them all to gather here in the midwest.

And finally...

We wanted to say thank you to all of our customers. Without passionate educators like yourselves, ActiveGrade couldn’t have gotten as far as we are today. Your feedback--both positive and negative--over the last 2 years has been incredible and we truly appreciate that you’ve been on this journey with us. We look forward to continuing to provide you with the best standards-based grading experience on the web.

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