Advance to acquire Turnitin, leading provider of academic integrity, grading, and feedback solutions

(6 Mar 2019)  Advance today announced the acquisition of Turnitin, a leading provider of education technology for academic integrity and writing solutions, from an investment entity affiliated with Insight Venture Partners, GIC and their co-investors.

Turnitin’s proprietary software promotes student authenticity, instructor effectiveness, and better educational outcomes. Through machine learning, computer vision, and advanced artificial intelligence, Turnitin’s products check for plagiarism in writing and code assignments, provide real-time feedback for students, and automate grading for teachers across multiple disciplines. Turnitin’s products are used by over 34 million students in over 15,000 K-12 and higher education institutions in 153 countries. Its global reach and network of clients, including educational and research institutions, corporations and governments, have enabled Turnitin to build an unparalleled database of content used to check for text similarity and verify authorship.

“We admire Chris Caren and his team, and Turnitin’s outstanding track record of enhancing integrity in written work at schools, universities, and publishers worldwide through cutting-edge technology,” said Steve Newhouse, Co-President of Advance. “Advance is committed to investing in innovative technologies and we are thrilled to add Turnitin to our portfolio. We look forward to working with Chris to further enhance the company’s core products, invest in emerging technologies, and explore new opportunities.”

“Today marks an exciting chapter in Turnitin’s development, and we are excited to be joining the Advance family of companies,” said Chris Caren, CEO of Oakland, California based Turnitin. “Advance’s long-term perspective and commitment to education make them the perfect partner to help Turnitin advance our mission of engaging students and teachers worldwide. We would like to thank Insight and GIC for their support over the past few years which enabled us to scale the platform and we look forward to taking the company to the next level with Advance.”

“We are pleased to have supported Turnitin’s growth the past five years,” said Deven Parekh, Managing Director at Insight. “It has been a pleasure to work with Chris and the management team and we are confident Advance will be a great steward going forward. We wish them all success for the future.”

Advance is a family-owned company that operates and invests in a broad range of technology, media and communications businesses globally. The acquisition of Turnitin marks the second significant acquisition under its multi-billion dollar capital deployment initiative, following the purchase of Stage Entertainment in late 2018.

The transaction has no financing condition and is subject to customary regulatory approvals, with closing anticipated in the second quarter of 2019. The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Advance was advised by Evercore and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Turnitin, Insight and GIC were advised by UBS and Goodwin Procter LLP.

For the full press release, see here.