Microsoft has announced the acquisition of Flipgrid, a video-based social learning platform for pre-kindergarten to PhD-level educators, students and families. Flipgrid is a tool used to help students define, share and respect the diversity of their voices; teachers assign homework, students respond by recording short video messages. This is believed to strengthen emotional skills beyond the traditional curricula -- "skills the company's recent research says will be required in 30 to 40 percent of the fastest-growing occupations" according to the company announcement.
Since its creation in 2015, Flipgrid has raised $17 million in venture funding and has been sold on a subscription basis. Now Microsoft will offer the service to schools for free, like it has done with Office 365 Education software, so customers who've purchased a subscription will receive a prorated refund.
By joining forces, the companies aim to further their vision for education. The purchase of the Minneapolis-based educational software startup will increase Microsoft's presence in classrooms, a space that is also of interest to Google and Apple. And although a fairly new company, Flipgrid is no stranger to schools with over 20 million users in 180 countries.
Joey Taralson, VP of user engagement at the startup, told Business Insider that "the potential to make Flipgrid free was actually a large factor in the decision to sell" and to get to the next level it would require "the backing of someone like Microsoft."(News18.com)