K-12 Dealmaking: Udemy, Tynker Raise Funds; PeopleAdmin Acquires TeacherMatch

Contributing Writer

A number of ed-tech companies, including Udemy and Tynker, have raked in funds from investors over the past week. In addition, PeopleAdmin, a talent-management software provider for the education sector, acquired TeacherMatch.

Udemy Raises $60 Million: Udemy, a San Francisco-based online provider of courses, received a $60 million strategic investment from Internet and entertainment group Naspers through its Naspers Ventures division. In addition, Larry Illg, CEO of Naspers Ventures, is joining Udemy’s Board of Directors.

Udemy said it plans to use the new capital to “continue its strong international momentum, including growing its localized course content library and product offerings to meet the global demand for online learning.” The investment is a follow-on to Udemy’s $65 million Series D round of financing from June 2015.

Last month, South Africa-based Naspers led a $15 million Series B round for Brainly, a Krakow, Poland-based social-learning community for students.

Tynker Takes in $7.1 Million: Tynker, a creative computing platform for children, has drawn $7.1 million in a Series A round led by a syndicate of ed-tech entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley venture capital firms. Lead investors included Krishna Bharat, the Google scientist behind Google News; Cervin Ventures, Felicis Ventures, New Ground Ventures, Reach Capital, and Relay Ventures, the company said in a statement.

The new funding will enable Tynker to “continue its mission to empower kids to be makers by transforming early computer science (CS) education in homes, classrooms, learning centers, and technology camps,” the company said, adding that the investment will be used for product development and further expansion into schools and districts outside of the U.S. and Canada.

Other investors who participated in the Series A include GSV Capital; NEA; Matt Cutts, former head of Google Spam; Ben Gomes, vice president of search at Google; John Katzman, founder of Noodle Companies; Deborah Quazzo, managing partner at GSV Advisors; and Richard Sarnoff, managing director of KKR.

Planet3 Raises Additional $3 Million: Exploration-based learning company Planet3 has raised additional funds, bringing its total funding to $13 million. The company raised $3 million from Switch, a Nevada-based developer of data centers, in a Series B funding round, a company spokesperson confirmed, adding that there will be other investors announced as Planet3 moves forward with the remainder of the round. (Switch had also funded the company’s Series A round last year).

The proceeds will be used to advance the Planet3 digital learning platform and further expand the early adopter program, the company said in a statement. Planet3 also said last week it plans to launch its first pilot program with six school districts in Nevada as part of its early adopter program.

Washington, D.C.-based Planet3 is a personalized learning platform that uses the planet Earth as a laboratory for teaching earth, life, and physical science. The company’s long-term plans include K-12 curriculum for all science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) subjects, according to a statement.

Skillshare Raises $12 Million: Online education platform Skillshare has raised approximately $12 million in new funding, according to a post by company CEO and co-founder Michael Karnjanaprakorn on medium.com.

The round was co-led by Amasia and Omidyar Network with existing investors Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital, bringing total capital raised to $25 million, Karnjanaprakorn wrote; he noted that the new investment round “allows us to continue to build our platform, expand globally and further realize our mission of providing affordable access to learning.”

In the M&A world:

PeopleAdmin Acquires TeacherMatch: PeopleAdmin, a provider of talent management software for education, has acquired TeacherMatch, an education talent management solution. The combined company will operate under the PeopleAdmin name. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Partnering with TeacherMatch right now is perfect timing, with far-reaching implications for bringing greater value to our customers and improving the quality of education in North America,” said Kermit Randa, CEO of PeopleAdmin, in a statement.

TeacherMatch provides cloud-based recruitment, screening, professional development, and workforce planning solutions for K-12 school districts.

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners Acquires GL Education: Private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners has acquired GL Education, a London-based provider of educational assessments in the United Kingdom and Europe, for an undisclosed sum.

Levine Leichtman purchased the company from Investcorp, a provider and manager of alternative investment products; Investcorp disclosed the sale in a separate announcement. Investcorp noted it had acquired GL Education in 2012 and “has overseen an extensive transformation in the company, redefining GL Education’s market by moving from a mainly paper-based product business to a digital, bundled solutions business model and driving international growth across the Middle East and Asia Pacific.”

Lost My Name Raises $4.35 Million: The London-based startup focused on personalized children’s books has raised an additional $4.35 million from Project A Ventures, Business Insider India reported on June 1.

The company has raised a total of $13 million; this latest investment is described as an extension to its $9 million Series A round led by Google Ventures in June 2015, according to press reports.

Be sure to check back on
Marketplace K-12 for updates on mergers, acquisitions, fundraising, and other dealmaking. Also see EdWeek Market Brief, a service that gives companies operating in the market insights on the needs and priorities of school officials.

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