K-12 Dealmaking: Educapital Raises $53 Million; Ed-Tech Incubator, Accelerator Select Cohorts

Contributing Writer

In this week’s dealmaking news, European education fund Educapital closed its first funding round. Also, an African ed-tech accelerator announced its first cohort and a few ed-tech companies unveiled new partnerships.

Educapital Raises $53 Million: Educapital, a European fund that calls itself the first dedicated to education and training, has closed its first funding round at $53 million (45 million Euros) in partnership with Bpifrance and major corporate and family offices, according to a statement.

The objective of Educapital is “to invest in innovative companies with high potential that aim both to reinvent education at all levels, from K-12 to corporate training and life-long learning, and to answer the needs of 21st-century society.”

The fund noted it plans to finance 15 European ed-tech companies in France, Europe, and Israel, with the intent of developing them into international leaders.

Educapital said it “has mobilized a coalition of investors,” including Bpifrance, key corporations of the education sector including French publisher Hachette Livre, and several private actors and family offices, among them “Education for the Many,” an education investment structure of the Leclercq family, which most recently gained a minority stake in Moodle with a $6 million investment announced earlier this month.

Injini Launches First Ed-Tech Cohort: Injini, a Cape Town-based ed-tech incubator, unveiled the eight startups selected to join its first cohort, according to press reports.

The eight startups are Accelerated, Early Bird, M-Shule, Mtabe, Syafunda, Uthini, Yo’ Books and Zelda; all are based in Africa and were pitched at an event held in Cape Town this month.

Injini was unveiled earlier this year and touted as Africa’s first ed-tech incubator. It is led by a former adviser to British education secretary Michael Gove, along with the Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative, or CiTi. Click here to read more.

WISE Accelerator Unveils Ed-Tech Cohort: The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) has selected four ed-tech initiatives from France, Lebanon, and the UK, the organization said in a statement.

WISE is an international initiative focused on driving innovation and collaboration in education. Each year, the WISE Accelerator supports the development of young, innovative ed-tech projects with high potential for scalability and positive impact in the field of education.

The four recipients are CamBioScience (UK), Doc Academy (UK), Pixis (France) and Tabshoura in a Box (Lebanon).

The WISE Accelerator also serves as an intermediary to connect these projects with an international network that creates opportunities to share knowledge and find support from donors and investors. Representatives from each project will also attend the upcoming WISE global Summit in Doha, Qatar, November 14-16, 2017, where they will meet previous WISE Accelerator beneficiaries.

Blackboard Partners With OpenEd: Blackboard Inc., an ed-tech company for teaching, learning, and student engagement, and OpenEd, an ACT product and an online resource library for K-12 teachers, have formed a collaboration which integrates OpenEd’s standards-aligned open educational resource (OER) library with Blackboard’s learning management systems and solutions.

With this new partnership, “teachers are empowered to help students master competencies with seamless access to over half a million OER resources for Common Core Math, Language Arts, Social Studies and the Next Generation Science Standards,” the companies said.

“We’re pleased to partner with OpenEd to provide educators nationwide with thousands of high-quality resources at no cost,” said Katie Blot, Chief Strategy Officer at Blackboard.

BrainPOP Partners With Newsela: BrainPOP, an educational content platform, has partnered with instructional content platform Newsela to add high-interest news and nonfiction articles to its features, according to a statement.

As a result, “teachers and students can now connect to Newsela directly from BrainPOP topic pages—across the curriculum—for seamless access to related leveled resources,” BrainPOP said.

A typical BrainPOP topic page includes an animated movie along with quizzes, creation and reflection tools, learning games, and other activities, the company explained; the addition of Newsela texts enables enriched reading experiences with vetted material covering a range of subjects.

“Combining BrainPOP’s engaging movies and activities with Newsela’s reading experience and differentiated text will captivate students across subject areas and ignite curiosity and learning,” said Matthew Gross, Newsela founder and CEO. “The two platforms are teacher favorites, and now they can be used together to create a truly engaging experience for students.”

Eupheus Learning Partners With Fiction Express: Ed-tech startup Eupheus Learning is collaborating with Fiction Express by Boolino, a book platform, to establish reading habits in students and improve lifelong learning outcomes, the companies said in a statement.

“We are very positive that the handshake between Boolino and Eupheus Learning is a right match and will bring back the required motivation of reading in India,” said Sven Huber, co-founder of Boolino.

Added Sarvesh Shrivastava, managing director and co-founder of Eupheus, “Fiction Express fits right into our vision of bridging the gap between what is taught in class using institutional textbook-driven solutions and retail at-home learning providers by seamlessly integrating both.”

This summer, World Book, an educational publishing and e-learning company that provides content for children, partnered with Eupheus to cater to the K-12 curriculum market in India.

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

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