Leading U.S. coding boot camps Galvanize, Hack Reactor to merge

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Denver-based computer coding training school Galvanize is to acquire competitor Hack Reactor in a deal that brings together two of the largest privately held coding boot camps, the two companies told Reuters.

Galvanize serves students, corporate customers and co-working tenants in seven U.S. cities. Hack Reactor’s operations in San Francisco, where it is headquartered; New York; and Austin, Texas, will be consolidated in Galvanize’s campuses in those cities.

“We believe we have the team and the assets to be the leader in technology boot camps for individual students and corporations,” Galvanize Chief Executive Al Rosabal told Reuters in an email interview.

The companies did not disclose the size of the deal.

The schools teach technology skills ranging from web development to data science over the course of a few weeks but several for-profit coding academies have closed or merged over the past year.

Additionally, Galvanize has secured a $32 million funding round led by Catalyst Investors, an equity firm based in New York. The school had previously raised approximately $70 million in funding. Hack Reactor had raised $1 million from friends and family, according to its CEO, Harsh Patel.

Galvanize will use the new funding to continue growing, acquire additional boot camps and further expand geographically, Patel told Reuters.

In 2017, the market saw the closure of Kaplan Inc’s Dev Bootcamp and Apollo Education Group Inc’s The Iron Yard, two pioneers in the sector.

Galvanize itself went through a troubled year that included the departure of long-time Chief Executive Jim Deters last July and layoffs of 37 people, or 11 percent of the company’s workforce in August.

The sector also saw the entry of WeWork, the co-working space startup, with its October acquisition of New York’s Flatiron School for an undisclosed sum.

And in April, workforce development company Adecco paid a reported $412.5 million to acquire New York-based General Assembly, which had raised approximately $120 million in funding, the most of any coding boot camp, according to Crunchbase.

“The boot camp market is going through a fairly typical shakeout,” said Daniel Pianko, a Galvanize board member and managing partner of University Ventures, which participated in the latest funding round.

“Combining the two leading brands in the boot camp industry solidifies Galvanize’s leadership position in the sector,” Pianko said.

Reporting by Salvador Rodriguez in San Francisco