It’s been an active time for the K-12 and other education-based dealmakers as students remain relegated to home learning. Venture capital firms are seeing COVID-19 as an opportunity to reimagine their investments as a new structure for K-12 learning could be taking shape.
In recent news, professional education and upskilling platform Guild Education made its first acquisition, and Quizlet, a digital study aid company, raised $30 million, putting its total value above $1 billion.
Further, MasterClass, which features courses taught by celebrities and prominent experts, recently raised $100 million.
Quizlet raises $30 million, hits $1 billion valuation. Quizlet, which provides digital flashcards and study guides, has raised $30 million in a Series C round led by General Atlantic, according to an article in TechCrunch.
The new funding values Quizlet at $1 billion, five times greater than its last funding round in 2018, according to TechCrunch. The company’s total known financing is over $60 million.
Last year, the company was named one of the 500 fastest-growing tech companies in North America by Deloitte. It ranked No. 241 of 500 companies, and 19th among a subset of ed-tech companies on the list.
Quizlet uses a direct-to-consumer freemium model, and does not sell its product in a “top-down” approach through schools, said CEO Matthew Glotzbach at the time. But it has more than 1 million teachers accessing the platform, and 50 million learners using it monthly, he said.
The platform has seen increased usage during COVID-19, as students have looked for new ways to study, retain information, and collaborate.
Quizlet is working to build out an AI-powered tutoring platform, and is looking to expand to new international markets beyond the 130 countries it already serves.
Guild’s target audience is the U.S. workforce. It offers education and upskilling opportunities by partnering with top U.S. universities and learning providers to offer classes, certificates, and programs focused on serving working adults.
Guild’s acquisition will enable the company to accelerate the development of solutions to help employers solve complex workforce challenges, including the transition of displaced workers to in-demand jobs and higher-paying careers, Guild said in a press release.
Guild will integrate some Entangled employees into its core teams, and broaden its geographic footprint with offices in New York and San Francisco.
“The COVID-19 crisis has created both an unprecedented sense of urgency to up- and re-skill incumbent employees, and a heightened responsibility to support laid-off and furloughed workers,” Guild CEO and co-founder Rachel Carlson said in a statement. “The Entangled team will enable us to quickly design, test, and launch products that pair innovative technology and coaching services with transformative educational experiences.”
Guild recently announced the launch of its latest product, Next Chapter, which it says enables companies to connect laid-off and furloughed workers with Guild’s education opportunities and Entangled’s jobs marketplace and career services to help workers prepare for higher-paying career paths. The companies’ work on Next Chapter predated the acquisition, but the early success of the product catalyzed the merger, according to Guild.
MasterClass raises $100 million. MasterClass announced that it raised $100 million in Series E funding in a round led by Fidelity Management & Research Company with participation from new investors including Owl Ventures, 01 Advisors, and existing investors New Enterprise Associates, IVP, Atomico, and NextEquity.
MasterClass was launched in 2015, and offers over 85 classes taught by celebrities and prominent instructors on business and leadership, culinary arts, photography, writing, lifestyle, and other subjects.
The company says it will use the funds to provide a better member experience, as well as international expansion, product innovation, employee growth, and adding more instructors.
In recent months, MasterClass has continued to launch new classes, delivered MasterClass Live- streamed forums with its instructors, and deployed new apps to enable viewing on big screens, including AppleTV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku devices, and Android TV.
“This round of funding will enable us to expand MasterClass’s offerings so that we can continue to feed curiosity and inspire the world to try something new,” MasterClass CEO and co-founder David Roger said in a statement. “We’re excited to be working with Fidelity Management & Research Company as we enter this next chapter of growth.”
Dutch startup raises $3.3 million from a London-based investment firm. Growth Tribe, an ed-tech startup that works to boost the digital skills of adults and organizations, has raised $3.3 million from Rinkelberg Capital, Ltd., a London-based investment firm, according to an article in EU-Startups.
The funds will be used to accelerate a next phase of growth for Growth Tribe, after the company bootstrapped for five years. Specifically, the funds will be used to expand the company’s training portfolio, with personalized courses in user experience design, data science, and digital product management, according to the article. Funds will also be used to develop online learning solutions, to improve learning flexibility and accessibility, and support internationalization.
Growth Tribe provides learning experiences and on-demand coaching to help users learn areas including data science, analytics, artificial intelligence, growth and marketing, innovation, UX design, and product management.
“As we’ve grown, so has our experience, expertise, and ambition,” Growth Tribe CEO and co-founder Peter van Sabben said in a statement to EU-Startups. “We have an increased responsibility to equip people with a broader range of digital skills, to ensure they don’t lose out in a dynamic world. The [$3.3 million] investment will help us on this mission. A mission that’s urgency has been accentuated due to the current global crisis.”
FrontRow, a learning platform for creative arts, hobbies, and sports, which follows a business model similar to MasterClass’, is expected to be launched in the next few months.
South African ed-tech startup receives six-figure investment. Syafunda, which partners with local content developers and publishers to set up digital libraries in areas of South Africa with limited internet connectivity, has received an investment of approximately $144,000 from Edge Growth, a firm that invests in high-growth small enterprises.
In an article by South African publication Ventureburn, Syafunda founder Zakheni Ngubo said the investment will cover the development of the company’s online bookstore, which will allow students to rent digital copies of textbooks.
Syafunda, which has eight full-time employees, previously received more than $144,000 in investments since its 2013 creation, according to Ventureburn.
Ngubo said he expects business to grow after the coronavirus lockdown lifts, which is anticipated to take place June 1 in South Africa.
- K-12 Dealmaking: ACT Acquires Personalized Learning Platform; Duolingo Raises $10 Million
- K-12 Dealmaking: Math Tutoring Firm Acquires AI Ed-Tech Startup; Former U.S. Ed- Sec. Joins Media Literacy Company’s Board
- K-12 Dealmaking: LearnLaunch Accelerator Welcomes New Companies; New Investments Made in India’s Ed Tech Sector
- K-12 Dealmaking: XanEdu Restructures Financially After New Investment; China’s Tencent Leads Fundraising Round
- K-12 Dealmaking: K12 Inc. Acquires Galvanize; UK Specialist Ed Recruitment Firm Completes Acquisition
- K-12 Dealmaking: DuoLingo Reaches $1.5 Billion Valuation; Mentoring Minds Acquires SchoolSpire; Hoonuit Picks Up Tembo