Instructure, the company behind open source LMS Canvas, is a fast growing company in Utah which has not-so-quietly scooped up high-profile colleges and universities in the US is readying for an initial public offering which could value the company between 500 and 800 million dollars according to Reuters.

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Canvas, like Moodle, is freely downloadable and usable, but Instructure is the company behind all premium features, hosting, training, etc. behind the Saas model for the LMS (essentially wearing the hat of Moodle Partner network and HQ rolled into one).

According to the article,

Instructure was founded in 2008 and makes Canvas, a tech platform that helps colleges and school districts manage their classrooms.

The company’s learning management systems are used by 18 million students and teachers from more than 1,400 educational institutions, including Virginia Tech, the University of Auckland and the public schools of North Carolina.

This year Instructure also rolled out a corporate learning product called Bridge, in which it said it would invest some of its latest venture funding.

The company in February raised a $40 million round of funding led by Insight Venture Partners. A previous round of $30 million in 2013 was led by Bessemer Venture Partners.

canvas.logo_The company has raised around 90 million in VC funding since it was founded.

Why does this matter? IMO the LMS and edtech market is attracting a lot of attention lately and sustainability of continued software development and improvement (the role of Moodle HQ) will be important for all of the main players to keep pace with what teachers and learners want. The Moodle Partners are already a main source of that funding and the Moodle Association could be a major contributor to help the code evolve and improve. It’ll definitely be a market to watch over the next few years as market share shifts from player to player.

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