K-12 Dealmaking: Top Hat Acquires Aktiv Learning; GoStudent Snaps Up Network of Tutoring Centers

Staff Writer
K-12 dealmaking

Top Hat has acquired STEM ed-tech startup Aktiv Learning. This is the company’s fifth acquisition and its first outside of publishing. 

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. 

Toronto-based Top Hat is a learning platform that allows instructors to engage students for remote or in-class instruction in synchronous and asynchronous formats. The company last reported its valuation at more than half a billion dollars after raising $130 million in Series E funding in February 2021. 

Aktiv Learning, launched in New York in 2016, provides a classroom engagement tool that uses interactive problem-solving activities, assessments, and access to a library of learning resources. It most recently raised $4.6 million in its Series A round. 

Top Hat said that the acquisition gives it expertise in a discipline-specific solution, which customers have asked for, and “significantly increases” its reach in higher education, given that Aktiv has been used at more than 700 institutions. 

GoStudent acquires large network of European tutoring centers. Austrian tutoring company GoStudent has acquired Studienkreis, a German tutoring provider. 

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Studienkreis, founded in 1974, will continue to operate under its existing brand.  

The network says it has more than 1,000 learning centers, serving more than 125,000 families annually. It was previously owned by the London-based private equity firm IK Partners, an arrangement that has been in place since 2017. 

GoStudent offers 1-to-1 tutoring across a variety of subjects. The company has raised $686.3 million to date and has a valuation of more than $3 billion. 

Officials at GoStudent said the acquisition gives the company a substantial offline presence, a ready-made market for its online offerings, and the ability to cater to families that prefer their children participate in group or real-world-based classes. 

“Over 1.5 million online tutoring sessions are booked each month at GoStudent, but we believe the future of learning is hybrid,” said Felix Ohswald, CEO and co-founder of GoStudent, in a statement. “Combining online and offline creates an omnichannel model which brings maximum value to families and builds a barrier for competitors.” 

Earlier this year, GoStudent raised a $340 million Series D funding round to push into international markets. 

Global University Systems acquires MOOC platform. For-profit higher education provider Global University Systems has acquired FutureLearn, a London-based massive open online courses platform that was founded in 2012. 

The deal will allow Netherlands-based Global University Systems to provide FutureLearn with access to its proprietary AI-powered career management solution. The organizations say the arrangement will widen FutureLearn’s offering to provide fully fledged career advancement and scale into developing markets, linking learners with content, accreditation, mentorship, and career opportunities. 

Founded in 2013, Global University Systems is a network of institutions, affiliates, and partners that offers courses and qualifications to students all over the world. 

This acquisition follows a round of layoffs announced by FutureLearn officials and reports of major financial struggles at the company. 

Grace Hill acquires adult learning companies. Grace Hill announced that it has acquired Edge2Learn and Ellis Partners in Management Solutions. 

Backed by Aurora Capital Partners, Grace Hill specializes in talent and customer management solutions for commercial and multi-family real estate. 

Edge2Learn is an e-learning company that provides training and policy management solutions in the multi-family industry, while Ellis is a provider of mystery shopping and resident and employee survey solutions. 

The companies have more than 600 online training courses that serve multi-family rental communities. 

Ubongo receives $27.8 million award. Ubongo, an Africa-based producer of children’s educational media, has been chosen as one of five recipients of the Lego Foundation’s global Build a World of Play Challenge 

The challenge, launched in February, aims to fund innovative and impactful solutions focused on early childhood development from birth to six years old. Lego received a total of 627 valid proposals from 86 countries. 

As one of the recipients, nonprofit Ubongo will receive $27.8 million out of the total of about $117 million that Lego is awarding to different organizations. 

Ubongo creates and distributes localized learning resources through TV, radio, digital, and mobile to more than 31 million families in 23 countries in Africa. With its award, Ubongo plans to scale its Akili Family program to bring play-based early learning resources directly to children and caregivers at home. 

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