Smarterer Sold to Utah-Based Pluralsight for $75M

One of the Boston area’s most active entrepreneurs has found a buyer for one of his startups.

Dave Balter’s Smarterer, an online job-skills testing service, has been acquired by Utah-based online training company Pluralsight for $75 million.

The roughly 18-person Smarterer team will continue working on the company in Boston with a strong budget behind it, Balter said.

“One of the reasons we decided to do this was they were very supportive of us remaining in Boston and continuing to grow the company,” he said. “Everyone’s staying and we are getting ready to really build. We’re super excited.”

Balter declined to say whether the price was in cash, stock, or some combination of the two. But on paper, it’s a good return for Smarterer’s financial backers. The company had raised about $4.6 million in venture investment since its founding in 2010 from True Ventures, Google Ventures, Rethink Education, and Boston Seed Capital, where Balter is also a venture partner.

Balter, who co-founded Smarterer, returned to the company earlier this year as a replacement for former CEO and co-founder Jennifer Fremont-Smith.

At that time, Smarterer also said it had raised a $1.6 million investment round to help it build a business-focused version of its online testing tools, a product known as Flock. Previously, Smarterer had been aimed at the consumer market, but didn’t find enough success—today, the company says it has just 585,000 consumer users.

By joining Pluralsight, Balter said, Smarterer could go back to working on a consumer-facing service, which matches with the new parent company’s target market. “We moved all the way to the enterprise, and now we’re really starting to think about scale again,” he said.

Dave Balter

Balter

Balter, who left his previous post as head of Dunnhumby Ventures last month, says he’s staying on after the acquisition as well. “I am full-time, all-in, focused on Smarterer and making this new partnership truly successful. We want to grow a very big company,” he said.

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  • Mathieu Gosselin

    Wow! Congratz Dave! serially killing it!