K-12 Dealmaking: Udemy Raises $50 Million; Snapask Takes in $35 Million

Staff Writer

In recent K-12 dealmaking news, online learning course provider Udemy secures $50 million in funding. Instructure enters a tender process for a private equity firm to take the company private.

A Pittsburgh-based ed-tech company, meanwhile, has acquired robots that could help children with learning difficulties. And a Hong Kong-based startup raises $35 million.

Meanwhile, an immersive educational experiences provider is partnering with Dell to make its products available to more people.

Udemy raises $50 million. Benesse Holdings, a Japan-based educational publisher, has invested $50 million in Udemy, which offers 150,000 online learning courses, Udemy announced.

Benesse is Udemy’s partner in Japan.

The investment values Udemy, based in Silicon Valley, at $2 billion. Udemy last raised money in 2016, when a $60 million round valued the company around $710 million. The company has now raised about $200 million, with other investors including Stripes, Naspers, Learn Capital, Insight Partners, and Norwest Venture Partners, according to TechCrunch.

Udemy said it will use the Benesse investment to expand various aspects of its business.

The company provides a la carte courses for consumers, and develops and administers professional development courses.

“We’ve worked closely with Benesse for several years, and this investment is a testament to the strength of our relationship and the opportunity ahead of us,” Udemy CEO Gregg Coccari said in a statement to TechCrunch. “2020 will be a milestone year where we serve millions more students and enable thousands of businesses and governments to upskill their employees.”

Instructure undergoing tender process for private equity firm to acquire all outstanding shares. Private equity firm Thoma Bravo has begun a cash tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of common stock of Instructure, an ed-tech company and learning management system provider, Instructure announced.

Under the agreement, Thoma Bravo is offering to buy all outstanding shares of Instructure for $49 per share in cash.

The offer will expire at midnight on March 21, unless extended or terminated.

The closure of the tender offer is predicated on stockholders tendering at least a majority of Instructure’s outstanding shares, according to the company.

After completion of the tender offer, Thoma Bravo will complete a second-step merger whereby any remaining shares of Instructure common stock will be converted into the right to receive a cash amount equal to the per-share price paid in the tender offer. When this transaction completes, Instructure will become a privately held company.

Thoma Bravo had previously offered $47.60 per share, a price that fueled some shareholder opposition.

Ed gaming company buys robot provider’s assets. Digital Dream Labs, an educational gaming company based in Pittsburgh, acquired robots from Anki, which shut down last year, Digital Dream Labs announced on Monday.

The robots Vector and Cozmo are meant to help children with learning or behavioral disabilities as well as people who suffer from Tourette’s syndrome, Digital Dream Labs CEO Jacob Hanchar said in a statement.

The ed-tech company has expanded its staff to 13 since acquiring the robots, and is looking to hire 31 more people this year, Hanchar said.

Hong Kong-based ed-tech startup raises $35 million. Hong Kong-based ed-tech startup Snapask has raised $35 million, bringing its total capital raised to $50 million.

Singapore-based Asia Partners, which led the funding round, announced the investment. North Asian companies Intervest and Ondine Capital also contributed to the funding round.

Snapask will use the funding for product expansion and to open its new headquarters in Singapore to capitalize on southeast Asia’s growth potential, the announcement states.

Founded in 2015, Snapask provides on-demand tutoring to more than 3 million students across eight Asian markets, and the company’s revenues grew over 100 percent last year.

“At Snapask, we are deeply committed to the cause of enabling personalized education through technology for learners around the world,” company founder and CEO Timothy Yu said in a statement. “Education is a multi-trillion dollar industry that is undergoing rapid systematic change. We are delighted to welcome Asia Partners, Intervest, and Ondine as long-term partners to accelerate our growth and deepen our commitment to building innovative learning platforms.”

Interactive ed company to partner with Dell. Lü Interactive Playground, a Canadian company that provides immersive experiences for K-12 students, announced this week it will collaborate with Dell Technologies to bring immersive learning to schools and children around the world.

Through the collaboration, Lü will become more widely and easily available to districts worldwide, as Dell will make the company’s interactive learning spaces available to Dell’s K-12 educational customers.

Lü aims to transforms school environments into “lively and exciting” learning spaces powered by giant interactive projections and a synchronized sound system, merging athletics and academics.

“Dell Technologies is passionate about driving human progress through greater access to technology, and Lü’s interactive solutions empower student-centered learning in new and exciting ways,” Dell Technologies Senior Director of Education Strategy Adam Garry said in a statement.

“We are pleased to collaborate with the Lü team to offer school districts, educators, and most importantly students from K-12 more opportunities to leverage technology to learn and collaborate.”

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31 thoughts on “K-12 Dealmaking: Udemy Raises $50 Million; Snapask Takes in $35 Million

  1. Amazing news. Truth be told, I myself have taken several courses from Udemy, last one being Archetypical Branding by Prof. Nikolaus. It is an amazing platform, not only for self development and growth, but also for education and professional enlargement of one’s curriculum. It is an amazing thing to see, that even when governments might not be so keen into investing in education, instead of arms, private companies do see the value of people being more educated and knowledgeable.

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