What Investors See in a ‘Highly Fragmented and Under-Teched’ Early Childhood Education Market

With widespread lockdowns and closures last year, the critical role that schools and child care centers play in supporting children may never have been clearer. As it turns out, society is not as productive when working parents don’t have child care. That fact is not lost on investors who foresee greater demand for early-education programs … Read more

SchooLinks Raises $7M to Take on a Giant in K-12 College and Career Planning

Going after an industry giant in K-12 college and career planning wasn’t what Katie Fang originally had in mind when she started SchooLinks in 2015. Back then, it was a website where high school students and parents could research college options. Such services were a dime a dozen, she quickly learned. Three years later, she … Read more

Coursera’s IPO Filing Shows Growing Revenue and Loss During a Pandemic

This afternoon, Coursera filed its S-1 paperwork, offering a first look at how the Mountain View, Calif.-based online education provider is faring as it prepares to go public. And the numbers reveal both increasing growth and losses during a year of great disruption to schools and businesses impacted by the pandemic. Coursera reported $293.5 million … Read more

GSV Ventures Raises $180M Fund in Search of Global Edtech Opportunities

With an investment fund, a conference and a constellation of advisory services, GSV may be the closest thing to an omnipresent brand in education investing. But even after over a decade of making and facilitating deals, the Chicago-based firm still sees other untapped opportunities and areas for growth. Specifically, across the ocean. “We’ve been spending … Read more

A New SEL Program Finds Its ‘Way’ to Schools, Survival and $1.5M in Seed Funding

Patrick Cook-Deegan once wanted to build a school, one focused on helping high school students find purpose through attending to their mental health and well-being. It would be based in Palo Alto, Calif., which was rattled by clusters of suicides among the city’s teenagers. The school board turned down the idea. But Cook-Deegan found other … Read more

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