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

Codecademy, an Early (and Now Profitable) Pioneer of Coding Education, Raises $40M in New Funding

Money has flowed into the edtech sector over the last twelve months. Bumper funding rounds and freshly minted unicorns are grabbing headlines, but there are questions about how long current investment appetite will last. Unlike other edtech startups seemingly on the fast track to big checks, Codecademy has been in the business for over a … 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

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

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

Public Edtech Companies Have Been Rare. These SPACs Will Change That.

Publicly traded education technology companies are rare. Soon, there will be one fewer after tech training provider Pluralsight gets taken private later this year. That leaves 2U, Chegg and Stride (formerly known as K12 Inc.) as the remaining trio of prominent edtech companies on the U.S. public market. But this contraction may not last long, … Read more

Former Pearson, edX Exec Raises $7.5M to Build AI-Powered Digital Courseware

The demand for innovative digital learning technology has never been higher. And investment continues to flow into the edtech space. But companies looking to differentiate themselves in this increasingly competitive sector have to bring something new to the table. Esme Learning Solutions is banking on artificial intelligence (AI), collaborative learning experiences and relationships with some … Read more

What Running a SEL Startup Taught Me About Raising Money as a Female Founder

Last year, when venture funding for female founders dipped 27 percent from 2019 and made up just 2.3 percent of all capital raised, we beat the odds. Amidst a global pandemic, my team successfully raised a seed round in December. Timing certainly played a factor. Our company offers an online social-emotional learning program, which saw … Read more

How a $40M Investment Aims to ‘Mainstream and Modernize’ Montessori Education

There is a certain mystique to the Montessori world, which is just as much philosophy as it is pedagogy. For starters, it has its own vocabulary. (The schools have “guides,” not teachers, and there are specialized training programs to become one.) It’s inspired its own set of toys and physical manipulatives. And about 90 percent … Read more