D2L and MDF Commerce expand software portfolios with latest acquisitions

Recently privatized MDF Commerce acquires EcoInteractive as D2L purchases H5P Group.

Two Canadian technology firms have recently made acquisitions to fuel their software offerings. 

Montréal-based MDF Commerce is acquiring software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup EcoInteractive for an undisclosed amount, while Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.-based EdTech software firm D2L has acquired interactive content creation startup H5P Group for $25.6 million USD.

In a statement, MDF said the latest acquisition is expected to strengthen the company’s ability to deliver and expand its software products specifically for the public sector.

MDF Commerce’s acquisition comes close on the heels of the e-commerce solution company going private.

EcoInteractive, founded in 1994 and based in Davis, Calif., offers software solutions to government agencies in the United States (US) that manage complex problems in infrastructure planning, environmental regulations, and capital project portfolios. The firm’s ProjectTracker software is designed to make the work of transportation planners more efficient and supports government agencies large and small in more than 25 US states.

Prior to this deal, EcoInteractive was held by the Alpine Software Group (ASG), which buys and builds vertical SaaS companies. ASG acquired the company in December 2017.

MDF was founded in 1996 and provides software-as-a-service solutions for e-commerce interactions between buyers and sellers. Its platform includes automated order processing, content management, and payments, as well as other procurement and marketplace offerings. MDF claims to serve over 6,500 government agencies and 650,000 suppliers, and has approximately 650 employees across Canada and the United States.

MDF Commerce’s acquisition comes close on the heels of the e-commerce solution company going private after being acquired by New York City-based investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts for $255 million in total equity value. MDF debuted on the TSX in 2000 at a share price of $11. Its go-private deal continued a broader trend in Canadian tech over the last year, which saw companies like Q4 Inc., BBTV Holdings, Dialogue Health Technologies, and others delisted from public exchanges.

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One public Canadian tech company that has not gone private is Kitchener-Waterloo EdTech firm D2L. That firm went public in 2021. Now it has completed its acquisition of Tromsø, Norway-based H5P Group to expand the content creation capabilities of its platform.

Under the terms of the share purchase agreement, D2L acquired H5P for a purchase price of $25.6 million USD. The deal also includes potential earnout payments of up to $7.4 million USD based on the achievement of certain performance milestones.

Founded in 2017, H5P Group has developed a software platform aimed at creating rich, interactive learning content. The company owns over 60 interactive content tools focused on live-engagement activities, formative assessment, and interactive learning.

D2L is the developer behind Brightspace, a cloud-based software platform for the delivery of courses, learning-based games, and assessments online or in-person. D2L also offers Creator+, an authoring tool within Brightspace that lets users create interactive course content. In a statement, D2L founder and CEO John Baker said he believes this deal will enhance both products.

“We believe strongly in the power of easy-to-use creation tools in online learning to improve engagement and ultimately achieve better learning outcomes,” said John Baker, D2L’s founder and CEO. “These capabilities are increasingly in demand among our customers and prospects, and with this transaction, we’re adding H5P’s best-in-class software to complement the Brightspace learning platform and our Creator+ product.”

Feature image courtesy of Unsplash. Photo by Compare Fibre.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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