K-12 Dealmaking: Carnegie Learning Acquires Globaloria; Labster, Piper Raise Funds

Contributing Writer

In this week’s dealmaking news, mathematics education company Carnegie Learning acquired Globaloria, a provider of computer science courses. Also, DIY computer kit provider Piper and Denmark-based Labster raised funds.

Carnegie Learning Acquires Globaloria: Carnegie Learning, a mathematics education company, has acquired Globaloria, a provider of computer science courses, according to a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Globaloria aims to teach students how to plan, research, design, prototype and program computational apps, games, and simulations; the company was developed by Idit Harel, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University scientist, tech entrepreneur, and innovator.

“Carnegie Learning and Globaloria share an ambitious mission — to transform today’s schools, and improve STEM teaching and learning methods that help develop the next generation of creative thinkers, computational builders, and change-makers,” Harel said. “As part of Carnegie Learning, we now have the opportunity to accelerate these fundamental learning and teaching literacies by reaching more students and teachers than ever before.”

Barry Malkin, CEO of Carnegie Learning, added: “Globaloria’s robust courses and technology are a tremendous fit for us and our instructional philosophy.”

Labster Raises $10 Million: Copenhagen-based Labster, a producer of virtual laboratory simulations, has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Balderton Capital, Europe’s largest early stage venture capital investor. Northzone and Unity Technologies-founder David Helgason are also investing in the round, which will allow the company to continue its expansion in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

The investment will fund Labster’s expansion in the U.S. and Europe, as well as help initiate special projects in South America, the Middle East and Africa, the company said, adding that Labster intends to develop new simulations for students in chemistry, physics, and medicine. The funding will also help the company continue its research into the learning impact of virtual content and new technologies on students from around the world.

The funds will also enable further development of Labster’s simulation builder platform, which is designed to allow students and scientists to create their own virtual reality simulations.

“We think this company has global potential,” said Lars Fjeldsoe-Nielsen, general partner of Balderton Capital.

Piper Raises $7.6 Million: Piper, a San Francisco-based provider of do-it-yourself computer kits, closed $7.6 million in Series A funding, led by Owl Ventures.

Additional investors include past participants Reach Capital and Stanford’s StartX fund, as well as a new incoming investor, co-founder of Guitar Hero, Charles Huang.

The new funding will help Piper build an expanded ecosystem of products that allows children of all ages to continually expand their STEM skills, the company said in a statement.

“Owl Ventures has a reputation for helping education technology companies scale their businesses, which makes them the perfect partner to help battle the passive screen time consumption epidemic,” Mark Pavlyukovskyy, co-founder and CEO of Piper.

Last year, the company raised $2.1 million in seed funding from investors that included Princeton University, Reach Capital, 500 Startups, Chaac Ventures, FoundersXFund, Jaan Tallinn (co-founder of Skype), and Jay Silver (founder of Makey Makey).

MissionU Raises $8.5 Million: San Francisco-based MissionU, a self-described college alternative, has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding. FirstMark Capital led the round with participation from existing investors First Round Capital, University Ventures, Box Group, Rethink Education, Learn Capital, and new investors John Doerr and Omidyar Network. The round brings the company’s total funding to $11.5 million.

MissionU is led by education non-profit Pencils of Promise founder Adam Braun, who created the company with co-founder and chief product officer Mike Adams. The site says it enables students to graduate from college debt-free.

The company said it will use this latest round of funding to ramp up on growth across both online and in-person courses, enabling more student cohorts to join the program. Additionally, the company will be expanding to new cities beyond San Francisco in 2018.

VitalSource, TechKnowledge Form Partnership: VitalSource Technologies, a provider of digital course materials, and TechKnowledge, a digital education solutions provider in the Middle East, have formed a collaboration to give students across the Middle East greater access to digital learning materials in English and Arabic content, according to a statement.

“By working together, the two companies will accelerate and enhance the digital learning transformation in the region through access to powerful tools for the creation, management, integration and delivery of content and data analytics,” according to a company statement.

“TechKnowledge has a long history of partnering with publishers and ed-tech companies to provide digital content solutions and services in the Middle East,” said John Donovan, the VitalSource managing director for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. “Bringing together the strengths of both companies will drive exciting new opportunities for a digitally-led transformation of learning content in a fast-growing and innovative region.”

One of the most important facets of the collaboration between VitalSource and TechKnowledge is the ability for publishers and educators to create digital-first, interactive Arabic language content, he added.

Be sure to check back on Marketplace K-12 for updates on mergers, acquisitions, fundraising, and other dealmaking.


 

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