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Kelowna's Lane Merrifield of Dragons' Den sells multi-million dollar tech company

The FreshGrade platform is used by teachers from across Canada.
Image Credit: Higher Ground
April 18, 2021 - 7:00 AM

Kelowna's Lane Merrifield has sold off another one of his tech companies, this time for $30 million USD.

Merrifield is currently a 'Dragon' on CBC's hit show 'Dragons' Den' and was one of the founders of Club Penguin, an online kids social network platform, which sold to Disney for $700 million back in 2007. He is also a co-founder of FreshGrade, a digital portfolio and assessment platform used by teachers across Canada.

READ MORE: Kelowna's Club Penguin co-founder Lane Merrifield new Dragon on Dragons’ Den

Higher Ground Education, Inc., a network of schools dedicated to Montessori education, announced April 8 it has raised $30 million USD (roughly $37 million Canadian) to acquire FreshGrade. 

“With all the challenges this past year has brought, it has also created a window to do something dramatically different in education,” said Ray Girn, founder and CEO of Higher Ground Education, in a press release. “The Series D investment allows us to continue to be actively and aggressively advocating for Montessori pedagogy as the way of the future.”

FILE PHOTO - Club Penguin co-founder Lane Merrifield
FILE PHOTO - Club Penguin co-founder Lane Merrifield
Image Credit: TWITTER

FreshGrade will continue to operate as usual within Canadian public schools, regardless of the acquisition, according to Pat Lynch, senior director of content marketing with Higher Ground.

Since FreshGrade's founding in 2011, more than 18 million portfolios have been created with 85,000 teachers and 1.8 million parents actively using the platform. 

The platform captures learning in any form — be it video, audio, tests or quizzes — and delivers it in a newsfeed format familiar to young students. 

Higher Ground has acquired both the FreshGrade tech product and team.

Since its founding in 2016, Higher Ground has opened more than 80 locations across the U.S. and Asia, and at-home and virtual learning programs across the globe, serving more than 7,000 students worldwide. It operates Guidepost Montessori, the largest network of Montessori schools, according to the press release.

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