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 LI education software firm Buncee acquired by PebbleGo maker Capstone

Marie Arturi, founder and chief executive of Buncee,

Marie Arturi, founder and chief executive of Buncee, said that the company's 13 employees, including eight on Long Island, have been hired by Capstone. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

East End education technology startup Buncee LLC has been acquired.

The Speonk software company was bought by Minnesota-based Capstone, a family-owned maker of educational content for the prekindergarten to middle school market.

Financial terms of the deal announced last week were not disclosed.

Marie Arturi, founder and chief executive of Buncee, said that the company's 13 employees, including eight on Long Island, had been hired by Capstone in the same or similar capacities.

Arturi said she would remain as a consultant to the combined company.

Buncee, founded in 2010, offers drag-and-drop software that allows students and educators to create interactive classroom content. Buncee's software is used throughout the United States and in more than 100 countries.

A Buncee subscription costs $7 per month for personal or business use, $10 per month or $100 per year for "lite" classroom use and $20 per month or $200 per year for premium classroom use with up to 150 student accounts. Pricing varies for school districts.

Closely held Capstone produces children's books and classroom software. The company's online PebbleGo product is a research tool for elementary students, covering topics including animals, health, science, biographies and social studies.

Capstone, based in North Mankato, said plans call for PebbleGo and Buncee to be integrated and relaunched in early 2022.

"With about 40% of U.S. elementary schools using PebbleGo at the K-2 level and growing adoption of PebbleGo Next for grades 3-5, adding Buncee to our portfolio reinforces Capstone’s unwavering commitment to meeting the needs of educators and young learners," Capstone president Scott Sustacek said in a statement.

In a tweet, Arturi voiced excitement about the combination.

"I can't wait to see where this new journey takes us," she said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Arturi said that several Buncee employees with roots abroad returned to their home countries in Asia, though some continued working remotely.

Capstone has cut deals with Amazon.com to offer books on Alexa-enabled devices and with DC Comics to publish books based on DC characters, which include Superman and Wonder Woman.

Correction: A headline on an earlier version of this story mischaracterized PebbleGo's ownership. An earlier version of this story listed an incorrect monthly price for Buncee premium.

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