K-12 Dealmaking: CampusLogic Raises $120 Million; International Market Remains Busy

Staff Writer

Few education deals have closed over the last few weeks in North America, but it remains an active time on the international stage for ed-tech investments, as COVID-19 continues fuels shifts in the market.

One U.S. ed-tech company, a Phoenix-based developer of tools and resources used by college officials to help students manage scholarships and financial aid, has netted a major funding round.

Three deals totaling about $62 million have been completed in India. Microsoft has invested in a U.K.-based ed-tech firm that wants to take on Google in educational computing. And a New Zealand company has secured a six-figure investment as it looks to roll out an AI-enabled chatbot in China.

CampusLogic raises $120 million in major funding round. The Phoenix-based company received the investment from San Francisco-based Dragoneer Investment Group.

According to an article in EdSurge, it was the first education investment by Dragoneer.

About 750 colleges and universities are paying for CampusLogic’s tools, according to EdSurge.

Microsoft invests $1 million in London startup. Kano, which is focused on teaching kids to code, has raised over $1 million from Microsoft, according to CNBC.

The company has raised about $45.5 million to date from investors including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, according to the CNBC article.

In a press release, Kano pointed to the Microsoft investment as a driver behind the launching of its next-generation Kano PC, which Kano announced Tuesday.

“The education sector is undergoing massive change enabled by technology, and our collaboration with Kano is truly advancing the vision of ‘technology for all,‘” Jordan Chrysafidis, general manager of Worldwide Education Device Sales for Microsoft, said in a statement. “Together we are delivering high-quality, accessible, and affordable Windows-based devices, combined with customized curriculum that teaches design, coding, 3D modeling, and more, that enables Kano users to become digital creators.”

Facebook-backed Unacademy acquires two education-focused firms. India-based Unacademy on Tuesday announced that it led a $5 million strategic investment to acquire a majority stake in Mastree, a leading K-12 learning platform in India, after acquiring medical education platform PrepLadder earlier this month.

“Mastree’s mission is to help students achieve academic excellence by igniting their curiosity and providing them with personalized and affordable education,” Mastree co-founder and CEO Shrey Goyal said in a statement. “We are excited to be a part of the Unacademy Group and have the Unacademy team as a partner and mentor in this journey.”

Mastree is building a one-stop subscription product for STEAM classes for grades 5-8.

Indian publication VC Circle reported the $50 million PrepLadder acquisition on July 7.

“As we strengthen our position as a market leader in the test prep market, bringing PrepLadder on board will play a strategic role for Unacademy in the medical entrance examinations category,” Unacademy co-founder Gaurav Munjal said in a statement, per VC Circle.

Unacademy offers course content taught by educators in India, and includes over 20,000 teachers, 30 million learners, and 35 exam categories.

“Learning boxes” company receives investment from Mumbai venture firm. Flinto, a company that ships boxes filled with interactive educational materials to kids aged 1.5-12 years old, has received $7.2 million in pre-Series B funding from Mumbai-based Lightbox Ventures, according to a story in the Indian publication Your Story.

“We don’t want COVID-19 to come in the way of a child’s learning,” Flinto Learning Solutions co-founder and CEO Arunprasad Durairaj said in a statement to Your Story. “For children below six years of age, monotonous online classes can’t be a substitute for the multi-sensory experiences that they deserve. We wanted to ensure that children continue receiving structured hands-on learning without compromising on their safety.”
Flinto will use the money to support rapid growth in early learning and to expand a newly launched preschool solution called Flintoclass@HOME.
New Zealand-based English language learning app receives seed funding. Chatterize, which provides users the ability to practice English daily in a virtual American town, has announced a seed investment of NZ$1 million ($653,500 USD) led by New Zealand venture firm IceHouse Ventures.
With the investment, the company plans to expand its platform, add new content, and grow operations in China and New Zealand, the company said in a press release.
Chatterize claims 35,000 new users in China so far this year.

“I believe that language tools should be both practical and interesting, and that they should address the needs of Chinese children’s daily speaking practice,” Chatterize co-founder and CEO Lane Litz said in a statement. “I also believe that they should be priced at a level more acceptable to the public.”

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