DC-Based Blackboard to Pay $116 Million for Elluminate, Wimba

Washington, DC — Blackboard, the DC-based provider of software and services to educational institutions, said that it will pay $116 million cash to acquire Calgary-based Elluminate and New York-based Wimba, both developers of virtual classroom technology. The acquired companies will form the backbone of Blackboard Collaborate, a new, standalone platform that will allow educational institutions to hold synchronous live courses over the web, including audio, video, white board and social learning capabilities. “Bringing Elluminate and Wimba together allows us to accelerate development of their technologies to better realize the full potential for impacting education — at a rate much faster than any of our organizations could have achieved independently,” said Ray Henderson, the president of Blackboard Learn, who will set the technology strategy and provide leadership to the combined team. Together, Elluminate and Wimba serve more than 2,600 institutions in the U.S. K-12, U.S. higher education, international and professional education markets.