• The iPhone maker bought startup to develop education software
  • LearnSprout competes with Sequoia-backed startup Clever

Apple Inc. said it acquired education-technology startup LearnSprout, which creates software for schools and teachers to track students’ performance.

Apple is working on education tools for the iPad, which will allow students to see interactive lessons, track their progress, and share tablet computers with peers. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," said Colin Johnson, a spokesman for Apple.

LearnSprout Chief Executive Officer Franklyn Chien didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. More than 2,500 school districts in 42 U.S. states use LearnSprout’s software, according to the company’s website.

The San Francisco startup has raised more than $4 million from investors, including Andreessen Horowitz and Formation 8. Bloomberg LP, the owner of Bloomberg News, is an investor in Andreessen Horowitz. LearnSprout competes with Clever, which has raised more than $40 million from Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and other investors.

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