Mimio Global Press

TechFlash - Puget Sound Business Journal

Seattle software company Headsprout acquired by Mimio

SEATTLE, Wash. - March 15, 2011 - Headsprout has been acquired by Cambridge, Mass.-based Mimio, an education technology company that hopes to use Seattle-based Headsprout’s education software to expand in more schools in the U.S. and overseas.

By acquiring Headsprout, Mimio -- a subsidiary of DYMO -- will be able to combine Headsprout’s online education content with Mimio’s technology that allows teachers with a laptop and a projector to transform a classroom whiteboard into a computer screen, said DYMO/Mimio General Manager Laurence Huntley.

Terms of the deal were not released by either company. Headsprout CEO Dave Anderson will remain with the company.

Huntley said Headsprout’s headquarters will remain in Seattle, because of the talent pool here. Mimio plans to invest “quite a few million dollars” in the company, hiring up to 40 people -- including tech and sales people. Most of the additions will be at the Seattle office.

“Our goal here is to invest heavily in Headsprout to enable it to grow more rapidly than it had been growing,” Huntley said.

Huntley said all of Headsprout’s investors have been bought out, including Kaplan, owned by The Washington Post Co. Headsprout has raised $19 million in venture capital funding. Investors included Kaplan, a provider of educational programs. Kaplan has struggled recently.

Anderson said Headsprout used the investor funds to pay for research and development.

Founded in 1999, Headsprout has 65 employees, with about 40 locally. Anderson said Headsprout’s clients are about 700 school districts. The districts typically pay $30 to $60 per student to access Headsprout’s online curriculum designed to help young students learn to read.

Huntley said he was mindful of the financial strain schools are under in the fallout from the Great Recession. But he said there are still opportunities to sign up new customers.

“The reality is children still need to go to school,” Huntley said. “They still need to learn. The pressures are there for teachers and administrators to be more efficient in the use of taxpayer money.”

Mimio’s main competitors in the interactive white board business are SMART Technologies and Promethean.

Mimio is owned by DYMO, which is a subsidiary of Newell Rubbermaid, an Atlanta-based consumer company with brands that includes Rubermaid containers, Levolor blinds. and Sharpie pens.