Renaissance was founded in 1986 by Judith and Terrance Paul after Judith developed Accelerated Reader, originally named Read Up!, in the basement of her home in Port Edwards, Wisconsin. Judith designed Accelerated Reader to encourage her children to read more books. Read Up! changed its name to Advantage Learning Systems, Inc. , in 1991 before adopting Renaissance Learning in 2001. In 2016, Renaissance re-branded and dropped “Learning” from their name. On September 25, 1997, 2. 8 million shares of Renaissance were offered for $16 a share on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker ALSI with a market capitalization of $44. 8 million. The company was publicly traded until October 2011, when Permira purchased all outstanding shares and maintained ownership of Renaissance until selling the company in 2014 to Hellman & Friedman for $1. 1 billion. CapitalG, a sister company to Google and subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. , became an equity investor in Renaissance in 2014. In May 2018 the company was acquired by private equity firm Francisco Partners.