Newsela Raises $100M to Challenge K-12 Textbook Publishers, Eyes Acquisitions

Business news is packed with unicorns, and Newsela is the latest in education to join the herd after reaching the vaunted billion-dollar valuation. That status comes courtesy of a $100 million investment led by Franklin Templeton and existing investor TCV. Owl Ventures, Tao Capital Partners, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Waycross Ventures also contributed. Newsela, founded … Read more

2U, Guild Education Partner to Expand Online Education for Adult Workers

Employee training programs are usually among the first on the chopping block as companies tighten their belts during a typical economic downturn. But the current crisis is anything but, and an increasingly remote workforce will only accelerate the need for new skills and habits to keep companies running. That’s the consensus among the leading consultant … Read more

Hobsons’ Higher Ed Business Split and Sold in Separate Deals Totaling $410M

Hobsons, which offers a suite of software for college and career planning, admissions and enrollment, and student success and advising, will be broken up and sold in a pair of transactions totaling approximately $410 million. The company’s owner, the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT, which is also the publisher of the British newspaper Daily … Read more

Renaissance Learning to Acquire Nearpod in Blockbuster $650M All-Cash Deal

With constant budget pressures, protracted sales cycles and a diffuse web of different purchasing processes, the K-12 education market is not for the faint of heart, especially for startups looking to establish themselves. It has long had a reputation for moving much more slowly than the pace at which startups need to operate to survive … Read more

Interplay Raises $18M to Build a Lynda.com for Essential Skilled Trades

Toilets remain one of humankind’s most ingenious engineering feats. But while the most advanced bidets can wash themselves (along with other parts), they can’t fix themselves—yet. Plumbing is just one of many good-paying skilled trades that remain in high demand but which have largely been glossed over by the education technology industry, says Doug Donovan, … Read more

Instructure to Sell Bridge for $50M and Exit Corporate Learning Market

Where Instructure planned to go with Bridge, its learning management system for corporate and enterprise customers, has been an open question for over a year, when the company was still publicly traded. On a call with investors in October 2019, former CEO Dan Goldsmith expressed disappointment with the growth of the business, and said “nothing … Read more

Longtime Edtech Investor Reach Capital Raises $165M for Third Fund

Investments in U.S. education technology startups reached a record $2.2 billion in 2020. Across the globe, that figure surpassed $16 billion, marking a 32-fold increase from 2010. Few investors have watched, and fueled, the growth of the edtech industry as closely and consistently as Reach Capital, one of a handful of venture firms that has … Read more

Digital Courseware Provider Top Hat Gets $130M and a New CEO

Another balding founder of a tech company is passing the baton off to a successor. No, this is not the same shellshock as Jeff Bezos’ resignation letter, nor is the company anywhere as big as Amazon. But it could prove just as disruptive in the world of education publishing, where technology startups have been steadily … Read more

How the Race Between Vaccinations and COVID Variants Affects School Reopening

President Biden has made reopening K-12 schools as one of his top priorities for the first 100 days of his administration, or by the end of April. With COVID-19 vaccinations rolling out across the country, there’s hope that that will happen. But there is also a sense of added urgency. New strains of the coronavirus … Read more

Varsity Tutors to Go Public at $1.7B Valuation Through SPAC Acquisition

Being nerdy pays off, and soon there will be another education technology company on the public market. Nerdy, the parent company of Varsity Tutors, an online tutoring platform, will be acquired by TPG Pace Tech Opportunities, a special purpose acquisition company. The deal will give Nerdy a valuation of $1.7 billion, making it the first … Read more