K-12 Dealmaking: Quizlet Raises $20 Million; EMC School Acquires Zulama

Contributing Writer

In this week’s dealmaking news, Quizlet, a free study app, raised $20 million in new funding. Also, EMC School, a provider of digital and blended language learning solutions, acquired digital programs producer Zulama.

Quizlet Raises $20 Million: Quizlet, a San Francisco-based learning platform, has raised $20 million in a Series B funding round led by Icon Ventures, with Union Square Ventures, Costanoa Ventures, Owl Ventures and Altos Ventures participating in follow-on investments.

The funding will be used to accelerate the company’s artificial intelligence capabilities, build out its data science team and increase Quizlet’s international footprint, the company said, noting that with this investment, Quizlet’s funding now totals $32 million.

“We’re excited that this new capital will allow us to make key investments in the Quizlet platform, grow our company and work toward our vision of providing an AI-powered tutor to help anyone learn anything,” said Matthew Glotzbach, the CEO at Quizlet.

Starting in Europe and following with Asia, Quizlet said it will begin hiring people in market to help to bring Quizlet to as many global learners as possible.

“Quizlet’s impact on students and teachers alike has been instrumental in the educational landscape, and we’re excited to bring the full resources of our team to work to help them reach the more than 1.4 billion students globally,” said Jeb Miller, a general partner at Icon Ventures.

EMC School Acquires Zulama: EMC School, a provider of digital and blended language learning solutions, has acquired Zulama, a producer of digital programs for computer literacy in middle and high school classrooms, according to a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

As a result, Zulama modules, courses, and certifications will be available for sale immediately as part of EMC’s computer literacy product line, and ultimately available through EMC’s learning environment, Passport.

“The acquisition of Zulama accelerates our path to including an immersive and fully digital computer science and STEAM curriculum on Passport,” said Mick Demakos, the division president at EMC School. “Zulama’s comprehensive course offering, coupled with EMC’s current foundational computer skills curriculum, offers students the opportunity to develop the critical skills they need to build digital competency and successfully pursue their career goals.”

Nikki Navta, Zulama’s CEO who joined EMC School as part of the acquisition added, “We’re excited to unite with EMC School and put our curriculum onto Passport, effectively reaching more teachers and students across the country.”

Lambda School Raises $4 Million: Lambda School, a Silicon Valley-based provider of online computer science courses, has closed a $4 million seed round led by Y Combinator and Tandem Capital, the company announced in a blog.

“This round of funding allows us to cover the cost of a world-class education for thousands of individuals who are looking for new opportunities,” the company said.

Lambda School, which says it’s a combination of a school and an investment fund, trains people to be software engineers for free, in exchange for a portion of their income after they find a high-paying job.

Last fall, Leif, a proprietary income share agreement platform, signed an estimated $20 million agreement with Lambda School to finance the tuition of thousands of students. Income share agreements allow students to pay no upfront costs for their education in exchange for paying a percentage of their income for a fixed period of time once they earn above a minimum salary.

Kaleidoscope Group Raises $1.3 Million: Minneapolis-based Kaleidoscope Group, a public benefit corporation that designs, administers and hosts private scholarships, today announced that it has secured $1.3 million in capital as part of its series seed financing round.

The oversubscribed round was led by the Gopher Angels and includes participation from Yonoventures, LLC, and multiple individual and existing investors, including gener8tor.

Kaleidoscope Group plans to use the series seed funds to fuel the expansion of its sales and marketing efforts in the United States and to continue innovation within the Kaleidoscope platform, the company added. A total of $1.7 million in capital has been invested in Kaleidoscope Group since 2016.

“With capital ready to go to work, we are excited to expand the use of our platform and connect even more students with the funds needed to help them gain the skills required to achieve their goals,” said Greg Dehn, Kaleidoscope Group founder and CEO.

David Russick, the founder and managing director of Gopher Angels, added, “The company will have a huge impact connecting college-bound students and their families to private scholarship opportunities.”

Emmersion Learning Raises $600,000: Emmersion Learning, the creator of the TrueNorth Speaking Test, raised $600,000 in seed financing from current investors and a small group of strategic investors including Zylun Global and Access to Education, a Silicon Valley ed-tech accelerator.

“This round of funding will allow us to continue to develop and distribute our TrueNorth Speaking Test, which automates speaking testing by leveraging cutting-edge speech recognition models, advanced statistical algorithms, and time-tested linguistic and psychometric methodologies,” said Joe Tomco, the CEO of Emmersion Learning. “We are already in the process of growing our development and sales teams with this new funding.”

Gary Riding, an investor at Zylun Global and former senior vice president and general manager of Samsung, said he invested in Emmersion Learning “both because of their bold vision of how technology can dramatically improve language learning for billions of people and their innovative, but straightforward plan to get there.”

ReadCloud Goes Public, Raises $6 Million: ReadCloud, an Australian education technology company that provides a digital e-learning solution to Australian secondary schools, has issued an IPO (initial public offering) and raised $6 million at $0.20 per share on the Australian Securities Exchange, according to press reports.

ReadCloud aims to enable students and teachers to share notes, questions, videos and weblinks directly inside e-books, turning e-books into a place for discussion, collaboration and social learning, according to the company’s website.

CollegeDekho Raises $2 Million: CollegeDekho, a Gurgaon, India-based ed-tech startup that aims to help students learn about and select colleges, has raised $2 million in pre-series A funding from London-based Man Capital, according to press reports.

The company will use the new funding to build robust technology, ramp up the team, increase marketing activities and on-board more colleges, press reports noted.

China Education Resources Signs MOU with World Book: Vancouver, Canada-based company China Education Resources, an ed-tech company that provides online and offline training courses and social media for teachers, students, and education professionals, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with World Book.

The companies are discussing cooperation opportunities in certain areas including: partnering together to create custom content around CER’s programs such as its soccer education and products and K-12 education resources; distribution of World Book’s books and digital products in English to schools and libraries in China; Licensing and translating of World Book’s titles into Chinese  and selling the books in China, among other possibilities, according to the statement.

World Book is a part of Berkshire Hathaway and the publisher of the World Book Encyclopedia. The company produces original non-fiction reference content for children and young adults and has STEM and Social Studies-related content.

“This is a terrific opportunity to expand our current product lines via our existing K-12 channels,” said Chengfeng Zhou, the CEO of China Education Resources. “We believe that there is a lot of potential for our partnership and together we can create great opportunities for both companies.”

bulb Digital Portfolios, Future Ready Schools Form Partnership: bulb Digital Portfolios, a provider of digital portfolio software for students and educators, has formed a strategic partnership with Future Ready Schools, a national initiative to maximize digital learning opportunities and help school districts move quickly toward preparing students for success in college, a career, and citizenship, according to a statement.

Future Ready Schools aims to educate district leaders on the potential of digital tools and align necessary technologies with instructional goals to support teaching and learning. bulb Digital Portfolios was designed to enable teachers and students to document the learning process, encourage peer review, facilitate project-based learning, promote collaboration and foster the development of healthy digital citizenship.

“By partnering with a digital leader like bulb, FRS benefits from the experience that bulb has developed in its service to students and educators nationwide,” said Tom Murray, director of innovation for Future Ready Schools. “Together we can move closer to the goal of ensuring that every student has access to a rigorous, personalized learning environment filled with caring adults.”

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13 thoughts on “K-12 Dealmaking: Quizlet Raises $20 Million; EMC School Acquires Zulama

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