EdTech News Roundup 5/2 - 5/8
I’m back! I’ve now been married for one week (!), so you can expect a gradually increasing amount of dad jokes.
This week is short, just links, to make sure my typing fingers still work. Next week will be more of a return to normal - feel free to ping me with anything you found particularly notable from the weeks I missed.
Also, please don’t hold it against me if I owe you an email, hoping to dig myself out of inbox purgatory over the next few days…
On to the news!
Funding / M&A / IPOs
Inspired Education raises $1B: Inspired is one of the larger private K12 school providers in the world. This should be thought of as more of a buyout (though it was for a minority stake) rather than a SAAS-like VC deal, though it sounds like Inspired plans to continue growing
Allen Career Institute (ACI) raises $600M: ACI provides test prep resources to students in India, a market which is large, but turbulent
Rise Up raises $30M: Paris-based Rise Up provides a corporate-focused Learning Management System (LMS)
Pando raises $6.9M: Pando provides a “Career Progression Platform” to employers
Pearson acquires Mondly: Mondly is a language-learning platform. Related or not to Chegg’s acquisition of Busuu last year, it looks like the larger EdTech players see language-learning as a growth area in the coming years
Magnify Ventures raises $52M: this early-stage VC fund focuses explicitly on the “Care Economy”, which is at least adjacent to, and arguably has important overlap with, the education and future of work spaces
With “Upskilling” comes coupons and flash sales: Thoughts on what happens when education/learning is reduced to flash sales. This is happening today, but mostly among the MOOCs. What does it look like when more traditional institutions start going this route too?
UNCF invests in success coaching for member institutions: It will be interesting to see which non-academic student support services get the spotlight in the wake of COVID. Will it be more generalized offerings like success coaching, or specialized components like mental health / financial planning?
Combining childcare, gym, and workplace under one roof: previously only available to employees working at large offices of large companies, this combination of perks (theoretically) makes it easier to work remotely while still separating “work” from “home”
Coursera launches “Clips” short videos and courses: I continue to believe that most efforts to make learning “shorter” and/or “more modular” are sales-driven, not outcome-driven. A 4-minute video on “The Challenge of Everyday Leadership” does not change my mind
Ed Tech Thoughts is a short ( < 5 mins), weekly overview of the top stories in EdTech, with my gut reactions attached. If you enjoyed this edition, I hope you will subscribe and/or forward to your friends!
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