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EdTech Thoughts Weekend Reading - 6/25
Week of 6/19 - 6/23
As a reminder, this email — EdTech Thoughts Weekend Reading — is a Sunday roundup of what happened in the EdTech industry over the course of the week. It includes funding and M&A activities, people moves, and important news articles across early childhood, K12, Higher Ed, and Workforce.
For in-depth analysis of why these events happened, the EdTech Thoughts Weekly Update, a Tuesday newsletter that I send to paying subscribers. I’d love to have you reading both!
2 additional notes before we get to the links:
Substack just released a neat new referrals feature. I’m offering 1, 3, and 12-month paid subscriptions to folks who share this newsletter widely!
Unless something crazy happens in the EdTech world, this newsletter will be off the next two Sundays (7/2 and 7/8) for the July 4th holiday in the US. I look forward to greeting you all again on 7/16
Funding / M&A
Codiplay raises $2M / Kazakhstan, Content Provider / Tumar Venture Fund
Inspire Schools acquires Alpha Plus Schools. Combined entity will serve 78K students / UK, School Operator
Adda247 acquires Veeksha / India, Content Provider (VR)
Tomorrow University raises €10M. / Germany, Degree Provider / Educapital, Sparkmind.vc, Redstone, Mediahuis Ventures, 4P Capital, Zanichelli Ventures and angels
Diplomasafe raises €1M / Denmark, Credentialing (Blockchain) / Ugly Duckling
Ventures, 70V, KMD Ventures
Arbol raises $450K / US, Student Success / Western New York Impact Fund and Angels
PhysicsWallah acquires 50% stake in Xylem for $61M / India, Test Prep
Monterro acquires majority stake in UNIwise / Denmark, Proctoring
Unacademy’s Graphy acquires Build on Scenes / India, Content Provider (Community Management)
Frntlne raises $4.6M / Australia, Training Provider / RealVC, Investible, Hoperidge Capital (Navitas family office)
Revoltrain raises €3M / France, Content Provider / BPI France, Kima Ventures, Angels
Yayem raises €1.8M / UK, Professional Development Community / Angels
Talstack raises $850K / Nigeria, Upskilling / Ventures Platform, Voltron Capital, Golden Palm, TLCom Capital
Axcel Learning acquires Exit Certified / US, IT Training (Certification)
Accenture invests an undisclosed amount into Praxis / US, Professional Development (VR) / Accenture
Looking for a full list of EdTech Funding + M&A from the past two years? Founding Members receive access to the EdTech Funding and M&A database
Joe Karlgaard joins GSV Summit as CEO / via ASUGSV
Hunter Sunrise joins SchoolStatus as CMO / via SchoolStatus
Nathan Smith joins Masterclass as Chief Business Officer / via HR Dive
Neil Berry joins Babbel as SVP of B2B / via BusinessLeader
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Byju’s, ostensibly the world’s most valuable EdTech company, appears to be falling apart. More on this Tuesday’s paid edition.
Byju’s lays off 1,000 employees / via Techcrunch
Byju’s 3 non-family board members resign / via Techcrunch
India Ministry of Corporate Affairs orders inquiry into Byju’s / via Techcrunch
2022 NAEP scores show no sign of academic recovery / via K12 Dive
ESA expansion underscores need for school finance reform / via Education Next
The “Mississippi Miracle” improvement in reading proficiency / via Education Week
500-student district in the Hudson Valley received $94M in pandemic funding, refuses to explain how it is being spent. Sadly, I think we will spend years reading more stories like this about misuse of pandemic funds. / Thank you Jacob for sharing this article by 74Million
Kahoot! joins the big-company generative AI gravy train. The most notable difference between AI and other emergent technologies is how fast big companies have incorporated AI into their core products. / via Kahoot!
Education Department eyes new gainful employment requirements for all programs. This will cause some short-term discomfort, potentially even for “good” schools, but program-level transparency is a good thing. / via Inside Higher Ed
Related, 7,400 comments on ED’s Gainful Employment regulation. The core principle may be good, but effective execution is going to be tricky / via Inside Higher Ed
HBS dishonesty researcher turns out to be…remarkably dishonest. / via Chronicle of Higher Education
DeSantis escalates fight with college accreditors. / via Chronicle of Higher Education
How other countries are luring workers trained in the US. / via Washington Post
Related, international graduate applications and new enrollments rose in 2022. Good for higher ed, less good for the workforce? I’m not sure. / via Inside Higher Ed
Money Magazine turns from rankings to ratings. “This makes us more money than a lot of our great journalism does, sadly…So it is the reality of the world we live in.” / via Chronicle of Higher Education
Related, the man behind the supreme court case seeking to end affirmative action / via Wall Street Journal
Sequoia debuts Atlas, an interactive guide to the European tech talent landscape. This is more interesting than you might expect. / via Techcrunch
Tyton Partners releases 2023 Time for Class Survey. Results highlight division between student and faculty learning preferences, continuing issues with technology infrastructure in and around the classroom, and quick adoption of generative AI. / via Globenewswire
Georgia Tech designs spirit guide chatbot to fact-check ChatGPT. Chatbot-provided misinformation is a serious problem to watch and it is covered well here. But the visual of a more sober-minded chatbot stopping another one from “hallucinating” is too entertaining not to comment on. / via EdSurge
Figma will be free to use on Chromebooks for all US K12 students. This is cool, and maybe signals an evolution in classroom tools from productivity to creativity? / via The Verge
Programming Note: I like to shout out independent creators and the folks who send me links. If you write something or read something *excellent*, send it to me!
This email, EdTech Thoughts Weekend Reading, is the free sister publication of the EdTech Thoughts Weekly Update. It provides links to the week’s EdTech Funding, M&A, People moves, and a curated list of Links to relevant industry news. If you enjoyed this edition, I hope you will subscribe and/or forward to your friends!
Tweet of the Week
Twitter embeds don’t work well in Substack anymore, you can find the original tweet here