K-12 Dealmaking: Brighteye Ventures Raises $109M for New Fund; Panorama Acquires Grad Management Startup

Staff Writer
K-12 dealmaking

European ed-tech venture capital firm Brighteye Ventures closed a €100 million, or $109 million, fund with an aim on investing in early-stage ed-tech startups on the continent.

The new fund is Luxembourg-based Brighteye’s second and is backed by the European Investment Fund; the Jacobs Foundation; Partners in Equity; and family offices in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

It has currently has 40 companies in its portfolio, including Greek startup Hack the Box — which recently raised a raised a $55 million Series B round led by private equity giant Carlyle — as well as French drivers’ education startup Ornikar; Spain-based coding bootcamp provider Ironhack; and Sdui, a German-based startup that offers administrative software for schools.

The firm’s previous investments include reading platform Epic, which was sold to India ed-tech giant Byju’s for $500 million in 2021.

With Brighteye’s second fund, the nine-person firm is looking to invest in European-based companies that are raising seed or Series A funds to fuel growth in the learning technology space.

The European Investment Fund provides risk finance, with a focus on helping small- and mid-sized businesses across Europe. Its shareholders include the European Union, as well as public and private banks and financial institutions.

The fact the European Investment Fund is among the fund’s supporters is “testimony to the great confidence both the European Union and the market have in the burgeoning sectors of ed-tech and workforce transformation, with key challenges facing societies as automation presents both significant risks and massive opportunities for the development of human productivity,” Alexander Latsis, founding partner at Brighteye, said in a statement.

European Investment Fund Chief Executive Marjut Falkstedt said his organization’s support of Brighteye’s fund is focused on developing skills and human capital to address changing needs in the European economy.

“We are keen to support fund managers like Brighteye Ventures that are active in the education technology space, ensuring that European businesses developing innovative solutions to help improve skills and education get the support that they need,” he said in a statement.

Panorama acquires grad management software. Ed-tech company Panorama Education said it bought Mesa Cloud, a graduation management system that aims to preempt administrative issues before they prevent students from graduating.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

By acquiring Mesa Cloud, Panorama will be able to boost its own suite of offerings for the schools and districts it already works with, the company said.

Mesa’s system works by automatically flagging students who are off-track for graduation based on state requirements and identifying potential problems in their transcripts. The company said its goal is to prevent both human errors and technical issues, which can ultimately delay or prevent students from attending college.

“Mesa Cloud eliminates the prior system of manually checking hundreds of transcripts, allowing counselors and administrators to focus on helping students prepare for postsecondary education or career options,” Aaron Feuer, CEO of Panorama Education, said in a statement.

Mesa Cloud, which is based in Austin, offers its product in Florida, Texas, California, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Alabama. It plans to expand into additional states following the acquisition by Panorama.

“Panorama Education is the perfect partner to provide our technology to a growing number of districts and accelerate our mission of increasing graduation rates across the country through helping districts ensure every student is on the path to graduation,” Mesa Cloud Co-Founder John Kennedy said.

PhysicsWallah Acquires Stake in Xylem Learning. Indian ed-tech company PhysicsWallah acquired a 50 percent stake in test prep company Xylem Learning, the organizations announced, in a deal that’s aimed at expanding PhysicsWallah’s presence in southern India.

The investment in Kerala-based Xylem, valued at roughly $61 million, is intended to boost PhysicsWallah’s market share and will fuel expansion to areas including Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, Inc42 reported.

Xylem offers courses in subjects like physics, chemistry, mathematics, and biology that are aimed at preparing students for medical and engineering schools’ entrance exams.

PhysicsWallah offers a range of its own exam prep courses, as well as career development courses focused on upskilling workers. It’s also recently opened 50 brick-and-mortar centers throughout India aimed at offering hybrid tutoring to students.

The company has been turning to M&A to boost its offerings as well, as it recently acquired United Arab Emirates-based Knowledge Planet, its first international acquisition, and previously bought startups including iNeuron, PrepOnline, and Altis Vortex.

In a statement, PhysicsWallah Founder Alakh Pandey said “Xylem Learning is like the [PhysicsWallah] of the South, and that makes this collaboration even more meaningful.”

Xylem Learning Founder and CEO Ananthu Kumar said both PhysicsWallah and Xylem “are success stories from day one, demonstrating profitability while making a meaningful impact in the educator sector.”

By combining efforts, the companies “firmly believe that we can create a significant positive impact on the lives of aspiring students,” he said.

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