Microsoft is beefing up its Slack-like collaboration software, Microsoft Teams, with the technology (and the founder) from collaboration software startup Chalkup. Following the acquisition, Microsoft says it will bring some of the features Chalkup had built to the Microsoft Teams for Education product experience.

Chalkup was founded in 2013 by CEO Justin Chando, who’s joining Microsoft as a result of this deal, and CTO Tim Costa, who left Chalkup in 2015.

The startup offered a classroom collaboration platform where teachers could share resources and assignments with students and could discuss course topics, among other things. The company says educators and students from 1 in 3 universities and 1 in 5 high schools in the U.S. had used Chalkup at some point.

However, with the arrival of Microsoft Teams for Education in March 2017, Chalkup faced a serious competitor – and one that comes bundled with Microsoft Office 365 for Education – for free.

As the two products compete in the same space – collaboration software for educators and students, both Microsoft and Chalkup realized they may do better to join forces.


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