The Atlanta-based startup gradschoolmatch.com announced this week they have reached a definitive agreement to be acquired by ETS, the New Jersey-based testing service behind the GRE and TOEFL exams.
In a Q&A with Hypepotamus in 2016, founder and Emory University professor T.J. Murphy, Ph.D, said the site was founded to help prospective students navigate the graduate school application journey while making sure programs and faculty connect with the right candidates.
Since then, over half a million students and nearly 3,000 graduate programs have used the platform.
“We invented a new way to start the advanced degree journey and established product-market fit for the concept. ETS can take it to the next level,” Murphy told Hypepotamus.
Since its founding, Gradschoolmatch has called Atlanta home. Not only did Georgia State University’s graduate programs join as early clients, Murphy met his co-founder Brian Clark while Clark was his student at Emory University.
Another Emory graduate, Jared Welch, joined the team and helped the site gain momentum. “It is hard to overstate the impact of bringing Jared on board as our lead developer. He was crucial to our success,” said Murphy.
Gradschoolmatch will join a portfolio of other education-focused companies under ETS Strategic Capital to grow ETS’s student-focused services.
“The acquisition of Gradschoolmatch is part of an ongoing initiative within ETS to expand upon our digital assets,” ETS’s Executive Director of Higher Education Alberto Acereda said in a statement. “Utilizing graduate student data within ETS, we believe we can provide more insights and value to the student life cycle journey while providing graduate institutions more data-driven solutions for their recruiting efforts.”
The acquisition is a bittersweet moment for the Atlanta EdTech startup and the larger Switchyards’ community. Murphy wrote in a post this week: “Our startup is like our child. It was hard to build, and even harder to let go. We were ultimately persuaded by the realization that ETS is in a better position than us, a band of bootstrappers, to make Gradschoolmatch more widely useful.”
Congrats to Murphy, Clark, Welch, and the entire team!