K-12 Dealmaking: Pearson in Talks to Sell Parts of TutorVista to BYJU’s; Gauge Capital Invests in eDynamic Learning

Contributing Writer

In this week’s dealmaking news, Pearson is in the process of selling parts of its TutorVista to India-basted BYJU’s—and is also assessing the future of its U.S. K-12 courseware business. Also, private equity firm Gauge Capital has made a strategic investment in online course provider eDynamic Learning.

Pearson to Sell Parts of TutorVista to BYJU’s: India-based startup BYJU’s is in advanced talks to acquire parts of online tutoring company TutorVista from London-based publishing and education company Pearson, according to a report from The Economic Times.

The article cited two individuals aware of the deal, who noted that negotiations are in the final stages and include the online business of technology-enabled education solutions provider Edurite that was acquired by TutorVista in 2007.

Pearson initially acquired a minority stake in TutorVista in June 2009, then increased its ownership to a controlling 76 percent stake for $127 million in 2011, according to Pearson’s website.

Bengalaru-based BYJU’s, which provides test preparation tools as well as video classes for school kids, is backed by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative; last September, the company raised $50 million in a round co-led by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Sequoia Capital.

In other news, Pearson also announced a “strategic review” of its U.S. K-12 courseware business as part of its ongoing simplification program. “This business displays a slow pace of digital adoption, so a review is underway to explore whether it fits with the broader company strategy,” the company said in a statement.

The company noted that while U.S. K-12 remains an important part of Pearson, its future focus in K-12 will be on investing in the virtual schools and in offering digital courses for use in blended and virtual teaching and building on the company’s position in US school assessment. It also announced plans to scale back its partnership wtih Knewton, an adaptive learning provider.

Gauge Capital Invests in eDynamic Learning: Private equity firm Gauge Capital has made a strategic investment in eDynamic Learning, a Kelowna, British Columbia-based publisher of online career and elective courses for grades 6-12. The financial terms of the deal, done in partnership with the company’s shareholders and management team, were not disclosed, according to a statement posted to The PE Hub Network.

eDynamic Learning is a provider of online career and elective courses serving the virtual, blended, and brick-and-mortar U.S. middle and high school market. The company offers over 70 courses segmented within 16 career clusters ranging from forensic science to Gothic literature.

Follett Partners With Unbound Concepts: Education materials and technology solutions provider Follett has partnered with ed-tech company Unbound Concepts and its flagship platform, Artifact, which aims to help districts, teachers, librarians and curriculum buyers discover the best content for their students.

Artifact catalogs the topics, themes, concepts, educational objectives and literary elements in content—all of which can now be found as enhanced metadata tags within Titlewave, Follett’s collection development and curriculum support tool.

Nader Qaimari, president for Follett School Solutions, said the partnership is “a first step toward developing universal meta-tagging for K-12 instructional content incorporation, and added the use of Artifact in Titlewave will provide educators the opportunity to curate titles and lists based on specific topics, themes and curriculum elements.”

See also:

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

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