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Instructure, Inc.
Company typePublic
IndustryEducational Technology
Learning Management Systems
Assessment Management Systems
Founded2008; 16 years ago (2008)
FounderBrian Whitmer and Devlin Daley
Salt Lake City, Utah
United States
Number of locations
Area served
Key people
  • Steve Daly
  • (CEO)
ProductsCanvas, Catalog, Studio, Portfolium, MasteryConnect, Videri, CASE Benchmarks and Item Bank, Navigate Item Bank, Academic Benchmarks, Certify, DataConnect, Program Assessment, Pathways, Canvas for Corporate Education
Revenue$475.2 million (2022)[1]
Number of employees
1,291 (2019)
ParentThoma Bravo

Instructure, Inc. is an educational technology company based in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. It is the developer and publisher of Canvas, a web-based learning management system (LMS), and Mastery Connect, an assessment management system. Prior to its IPO in 2021, the company was owned by private-equity firm Thoma Bravo.


Founded in 2008 by two BYU graduate students, Brian Whitmer and Devlin Daley, Instructure's initial funding came from Mozy founder Josh Coates, who served as Instructure's CEO from 2010 to 2018 and chairman of the board through 2020,[2] as well as from Epic Ventures.[3]

In December 2010, the Utah Education Network (UEN), which represents a number of Utah colleges and universities, announced that Instructure would be replacing Blackboard.[4] By January 2013, Instructure's platform was in-use by more than 300 colleges, universities, and K-12 districts; the company's customer base had increased to 9 million users by the end of 2013.[5]

In February 2011, Instructure announced they were making their flagship product, Canvas, freely available under an Affero General Public License (AGPL) license as open-source software, a move which garnered press coverage due to its threat to then market leader Blackboard.[6][7][8][9] As of 2020, while the core Canvas remains open-source, according to its GitHub frequently asked questions (FAQ), some Canvas functions and add-ons are proprietary.[10]

In June 2013, Instructure secured $30 million in Series D Funding, bringing their lifetime funding total to $50 million.[11] In February 2015, Instructure raised another $40 million in Series E Funding, raising their lifetime funding total to $90 million. CEO Josh Coates described Series E as "a pre-IPO round."[12] On November 13, 2015, the firm began trading as a publicly held company on the New York Stock Exchange.[13]

In 2016, Glassdoor placed the firm at 4th place on its 'Best Places to Work' list.[14] In 2018, the Salt Lake Tribune named Instructure its No. 6 'Top Work Places' for large businesses.[15]

In December 2019, Instructure announced that Thoma Bravo would acquire the company for $2 billion.[16] Thoma Bravo completed the acquisition of Instructure in March 2020.[17]

In June 2021, Instructure again filed for an Initial Public Offering.[18] The company's IPO took place in July 2021 and it began trading under the symbol INST.[19]



Written inRuby on Rails

Instructure, Inc. was created to support the continued development of a learning management system known as Canvas or Canvas LMS, formally Instructure; once incorporated, the founders changed the name of the software from Instructure to Canvas. The Utah-based company tested the learning management system at several local schools, including Utah State University and Brigham Young University, before officially launching the system.

Canvas is used by schools, allowing students to submit assignments, answer discussions, access and upload media using Canvas Studio, and retrieve files from their Google Drive after linking Canvas with their Google account. Like students, Canvas allows teachers to create assignments, discussions, pages, and modules. Teachers can also integrate supported external tools such as Turnitin.

As of 2020, Canvas is used in approximately 4,000 institutions worldwide.[20][21]

Instructure launched its Canvas iOS app in 2011, soon to be shortly followed by its Canvas Android app in 2013,[22] enabling support for mobile access to the platform. The apps were split into three sections: Canvas Student, Canvas Teacher, and Canvas Parent. Canvas Student allowed students to access Canvas' student features, Canvas Teacher, similar to students, allowed teachers to access Canvas' teacher features, and Canvas Parent allowed parents of K-12 students to stay informed on their child's assignments, grades, and overall schooling,[23][24] all of which being similar to the functions of the website.

In August 2020, 16 states across the United States confirmed a partnership with Instructure to adopt its Canvas platform for their educational institutions. The states said that by adopting Canvas as a statewide solution to the challenges raised by the global COVID-19 pandemic, they hoped to provide stronger support to students and educators.[25]

Canvas Catalog[edit]

In 2014, Instructure launched Canvas Catalog, a course catalog tool designed to help schools market their course offerings to non-traditional learners and professional development.

Canvas Studio[edit]

In 2016, Instructure launched Canvas Studio, branded initially as Arc, a video learning platform tightly integrated with Canvas designed to deliver asynchronous video content and quizzing, as well as a video editing and archiving functionality.


In 2019, Instructure acquired Portfolium and integrated their pathways, Program Assessment, and ePortfolio network into the Canvas. Portfolium is designed to simplify the assessment of student learning, showcase evidence of knowledge, and keep students engaged along pathways to prepare them for careers.

Mastery Connect[edit]

In 2019, Instructure acquired Mastery Connect, a K-12 assessment management system that enables data-driven instruction and personalized learning with tools for formative and interim assessments, teacher collaboration, and curriculum planning.


In 2020, Instructure acquired Certica Solutions,[26] which provides assessment content and analytics primarily to K-12 districts in the United States. Products added through this acquisition include the Navigate Item Bank, CASE Benchmarks, CASE Item Banks, Videri, Academic Benchmarks, Certify, DataConnect, and prebuilt formative offerings.


In 2021, Instructure acquired EesySoft, a Dutch educational technology company,[27] and rebranded the EesySoft product to Impact by Instructure. Impact is designed to help educators and students use educational technology products more effectively by embedding guides, tutorials, and prompts into the software.


On February 18, 2015, Instructure officially launched Bridge,[28] a cloud-based corporate learning management system. This launch followed $40 million raised in Series E funding, led by Insight Venture Partners. EPIC Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners also participated in the funding.[29] This round raised their total lifetime funding close to $90 million. At launch, Bridge served 6 corporate clients, including Oregon State University, which had also been using Canvas for their students since fall 2015.[12] Bridge now serves more than 500 clients.

On February 15, 2021, it was announced Bridge would be acquired by Learning Technologies Group (LTG). The deal to officially acquire Bridge completed on February 26, 2021.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Instructure Company Profile". Craft. Retrieved September 8, 2023.
  2. ^ Neely, Karissa. "Instructure CEO change, Survey shows affordable housing concern, Powerful U Experience event". The Daily Herald. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Instructure Canvas Closes $8M in Series B Financing". 15 April 2011.
  4. ^ "New Statewide Learning Management System Selected". UEN News. Utah Education Network. December 14, 2010. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  5. ^ Empson, Rip (November 2012). "With 4.5M Users, Instructure Takes On The Courseras & Udacities Of The World With Its Own Open Course Network". TechCrunch.
  6. ^ Dan Dzombak (February 2, 2011). "A Fiery New Competitor". The Motley Fool. The Motley Fool, LLC. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
  7. ^ Michael Arrington (January 31, 2011). "Instructure Launches To Root Blackboard Out Of Universities". Interserve dba TechCrunch. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
  8. ^ Josh Keller (January 31, 2011). "Upstart Course-Management Provider Goes Open Source". Wired Campus. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
  9. ^ Christopher Dawson (February 1, 2011). "There are alternatives to Blackboard and Moodle: Instructure Canvas goes open source". ZDNet Education. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
  10. ^ "GitHub - instructure/canvas-lms: The open LMS by Instructure, Inc". GitHub. Instructure, Inc. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  11. ^ "Instructure Secures $30 Million in Series D Funding - MarketWatch". Market Watch. June 5, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Locke, Charley (2015-02-24). "Instructure Plots Path to IPO, Corporate Customers After $40M Series E". Edsurge.
  13. ^ Schaffler, Rhonda (2015-11-13). "Instructure IPO Debuts on NYSE With Double-Digit Gain". TheStreet.
  14. ^ "Working at Instructure". Glassdoor. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  15. ^ "Salt Lake Tribune Top Workplaces 2018". Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  16. ^ Aishwarya, Ambhini (4 December 2019). "PE firm Thoma Bravo to buy Instructure in $2 billion all-cash deal". Reuters. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  17. ^ "Thoma Bravo Completes Acquisition of Instructure" (Press release).
  18. ^ Bamforth, Emily (28 June 2021). "Instructure, creator of Canvas, files for initial public offering". Scoop News Group. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
  19. ^ Saleh Rauf, David (4 July 2021). "Another Education Company Goes Public: Instructure IPO Gives Ed-Tech Firm $2.9 Billion Valuation". Retrieved 24 January 2023.
  20. ^ "About Canvas | Edtech Learning Platform | Instructure".
  21. ^ "Why Colleges and Universities Are Adopting Canvas". eLearningInside News. 2018-10-24. Retrieved 2020-09-02.
  22. ^ "Instructure Releases Canvas for Android". canvaslms. Archived from the original on 8 February 2018. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  23. ^ "Canvas Announces New, First-of-its-kind Mobile App for Parents". canvaslms. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  24. ^ "Box spins Embed, OneCloud for educational use at K-12 schools, universities". ZDNET.
  25. ^ Walbank, Josephine (September 2020). "13 US states sign deal with Instructure Canvas". Global Education Times. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  26. ^ "Instructure to Acquire Certica Solutions to Make Learning Personal for Every Student".
  27. ^ "Instructure to Acquire EesySoft to Help Educators and Students Improve Adoption of Educational Technology" (Press release). 2021-07-01.
  28. ^ Buhr, Sarah (2015-02-18). "On The Way To An IPO, Education Technology Startup Instructure Is Close To Raising A Big New Round". TechCrunch.
  29. ^ Marino, Jonathan (2015-02-18). "Education tech startup Instructure has raised $40 million". Business Insider.
  30. ^ "Behind the Deal: Why LTG acquired Bridge". Learning Technologies Group plc. 2021-06-28. Retrieved 2022-08-20.