K-12 Dealmaking: Tarena Acquires Chinese Robotics Education Company; ClassWallet Raises Funds

Contributing Writer

Beijing-based educational services company Tarena International acquired a K-12 robotics education company. Also, ClassWallet, a fund-management tool for schools, raised $735,000, and learning program Flocabulary expanded its partnership with data management tool Clever.

Tarena Acquires K-12 Robotics Education Company: Tarena International, a provider of professional education services based in Beijing, has agreed to acquire Wuhan Haoxiaozi Robot Technology Co., Ltd, also known as Rtec, a K-12 robotics programming education service, according to a statement. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Tarena’s investment in Rtec is an important step to consolidate the market in kid STEAM education in China,” said Shaoyun Han, founder, CEO and chairman of Tarena.

Rtec is a teaching institution that provides robotics education services in China to children ages 3 to 12 years old. Tarena’s education platform combines live distance instruction, classroom-based tutoring and online learning modules.

“We believe the acquisition will further complement and extend our service and help us gain more insight into childhood development and learning as well as offline sales and marketing,” Han continued. “We are confident to further strengthen our leading position in kid education through sharing proprietary systems, teaching content, and management experience between Tarena and Rtec. ”

ClassWallet Raises $735,000: Florida Funders, a firm providing early-stage capital to Florida technology companies, has invested $735,000 in Miami-based ClassWallet, a web-based spend-management tool designed for the educational market, according to a statement sent to EdWeek Market Brief.

“It’s particularly exciting for us to support a project that employs the latest technology to solve a very practical problem that ultimately has such meaningful impact on real people, and ultimately and especially kids,” said Tom Wallace, managing general partner at Florida Funders. “ClassWallet is a uniquely high value product with great potential.”

The new funding will go toward developing and implementing functionality to support management of education funding to families for tuition payments and other educational services and needs, according to ClassWallet. In addition, the funding will support the implementation of a statewide rollout of ClassWallet in New Mexico as part of a new contract with the New Mexico Public Education Department.

“Florida Funders’ support has come at a most fortunate time when the company is experiencing explosive growth,” said Jamie Rosenberg, ClassWallet founder and CEO. “The additional capital will enable us to accelerate our product roadmap, and to expand our sales and business development resources.”

In January 2017, ClassWallet closed a minority investment from Brentwood Associates.

Buddy4Study Raises $3 Million: India-based online scholarship-providing platform Buddy4Study has raised approximately $3 million in a Series A funding round led by existing investor CBA Capital through its $15.6 million Education Catalyst Fund (ECF), according to press reports.

Buddy4Study, which touts itself as India’s largest scholarship platform, provides a search engine that aims to help both scholarship seekers and providers to access curated scholarship information across the globe, according to the company’s website.

In January, India-based CBA Capital announced plans to invest $15.6 million in its ECF, an early-stage education fund committed to targeting 15 pre-series A, Series A and Series B rounds in ed-tech companies; as part of the first close, Buddy4Study was one of three investments. ECF investors include the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

Flocabulary Partners With Clever: New York-based Flocabulary, a learning program that uses hip-hop to teach standards-based content across all subject areas and grades, has expanded its partnership with data integration tool Clever to provide schools and districts to roster and sign-in to Flocabulary.com.

Flocabulary launched its partnership with San Francisco-based Clever in September to improve classroom access and the on-boarding experience for school districts. The companies have now expanded this alliance to better support customers at individual school sites as well, according to a statement.

“As an digital content provider, it’s our responsibility to create ways for teachers and students to implement our resources as seamlessly as possible so they can focus on teaching and learning,” says Flocabulary co-founder and CEO Alex Rappaport. “By expanding our partnership with Clever we can reduce friction and, most importantly, save precious setup time for even more educators and students.”

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