In my first post-BbWorld blog post, I noted that the international market is hugely important for Blackboard and Moodle is hugely important for their international strategy. Nearly a quarter of the company’s revenue and much of their growth comes from their international business, where they seem to be way ahead of their main North American competition in many countries. Learn has some really large contracts—whole country contracts, in some cases—but Moodle has a lot of smaller contracts. In some countries, you just can’t get traction in the LMS space unless you have a Moodle offering. In my post, I predicted that we would see continuing investments in Moodle, based on what we heard from senior management.
Today, Blackboard announced that they have acquired Nivel Siete, a Colombia-based Moodle hosting and services provider with over 200 customers in Latin America. This follows their acquisition of Remote Learner UK, a company that serviced about 100 UK- and Ireland-based Moodle schools at the time of the acquisition and their acquisition of the X-Ray learning analytics company that currently is focused on Moodle. These are all in the last year. And they are on top of the original acquisition of Moodlerooms and Netspot, two of the biggest Moodle providers around. There are some interesting—and complicated—long-term implications here for the governance and financial structure of the Moodle ecosystem that Phil and I will eventually write about, but for now it’s worth noting that Blackboard is making serious investments in Moodle and international growth.