British-owned education publishing company Pearson announced on Monday that it is acquiring Credly for $140 million.
Pearson already owned a 20% stake in the digital workforce credentialing platform worth about $40 million, but it is now buying the entire company through existing cash and available liquidity.
Credly has more than 2,000 customers that use the platform to "award employees and workers trusted digital credentials that verify their skills and help connect them with the right opportunities." The company offers a tool designed to "help businesses recruit, engage, and develop their workforce, with a skills-based approach to talent management that operates at enterprise scale."
Pearson chief executive Andy Bird said the company plans to expand Credly's footprint in the workforce skills sector and said the acquisition is an "important step" in "building connectivity across the entire Pearson portfolio."
"The growing skills gap is putting enormous pressure on the labor market, making verified credentials more essential than ever before," Bird said.
"We originally invested in Credly in 2018 because we recognized its potential and have been impressed with the strong management team and their deep understanding of the talent market. Credly complements our other recent acquisition -- Faethm -- to address the full learner journey, enabling us to work with employers and employees to identify skills needs, provide learning to address those needs and offer trusted credentialing to prove proficiency."
Credly and Faethm will make up Pearson's Workforce Skills division, and the entire team at Credly will join Pearson. Since Credly started its work, it has issued 50 million credentials to 25 million consumers.
"This exciting move combines Credly's expertise in the skills economy with the global scale, learning expertise and financial strength of Pearson," said Credly CEO Jonathan Finkelstein.
"Joining forces accelerates the realization of our vision to build a world where every person can achieve their full potential based on their verified skills and where organizations can make better human capital decisions and build more equitable workforces using trusted information about what people know and can do."