K-12 Dealmaking: Wayside Publishing Scoops Up Video-Based Language Tool

Staff Writer
Newsela acquires Formative, EdWeek Market Brief

Wayside Publishing acquired Lit, a language acquisition tool, in a deal designed to add Lit’s library of videos to Wayside’s world language programs.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Wayside, founded in 1988, provides K-12 districts with print and digital materials for world language classrooms, and also produces comprehension-based readers.

By acquiring Lit — which creates animated video stories based on users’ input to promote language acquisition — Wayside will be able to use Lit’s in-house video production team to create content faster and at a lower cost, Wayside president Greg Greuel said in a statement.

“The combination of Lit content with our products will enhance our offerings and add to what our customers have been asking from us,” he said.

Lit Founder and CEO Mati Amin said Wayside’s customers will “gain access to Lit’s engaging animated stories and activities that promote contextualized language learning.”

Brazilian startup raises pre-seed round. Brazilian ed-tech company Teachy said it raised $1.6 million in a pre-seed round as it aims to grow its teacher-preparation tool.

Teachy’s product is designed to use artificial intelligence technologies to help teachers’ tackle tasks they normally complete outside the classroom, such as preparing lessons and grading lessons.

The pre-seed round was led by NXTP and included participation by Roble Ventures.

The company was co-founded by CEO Pedro Siciliano, an engineer and MBA student at Stanford University, and CTO Fabio Baldissera, co-founder of Brazilian startup PipeRun. The pair worked with engineers and educators from Brazilian institutions to build their product, which is currently offered on a freemium model throughout the country.

With the new funding, Teachy said it is planning to further build out the team in Brazil.

“We are very proud to use technology developed by Brazilians, in Brazil,”  Siciliano said in a statement. “One of our great missions is to transform the country into a major hub for artificial intelligence, similar to Stanford, by bringing back senior professionals with experience from the United States, Europe, and Asia who are currently working abroad.”

NXTP Partner Alex Busse said in a statement that Siciliano and Baldissera are “uniquely positioned to uniquely positioned to execute their vision to transform how we teach and learn using AI,” as their “expertise in education, management, and artificial intelligence gives them a profound understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the space.”

While the company’s initial product is focused on helping teachers become more efficient, Busse added it is the “first of many exciting, innovative products they are working on.”

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