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EdTech Thoughts Weekend Reading - 7/16
Kahoot! goes private
Good to be back after the July 4th holiday. As a result, this email is a full one - while much of the U.S. took a break, there was no shortage of news. If this roundup is cut off by your email provider, there should be a link to click to expand the post.
For newer readers: most editions do not run quite so long!
I am planning to take one more Sunday off this summer, likely the first weekend of August. More to come on this, but for now, on to the links!
Funding / M&A
Kahoot! is being taken private for $1.7B. Woah! / Norway, Gamified Learning / Goldman Sachs, Kirkbi, General Atlantic (buyout)
Mattilda raises $19M. / Mexico, Infrastructure Provider (payments) / GSV Ventures, FinTech Collective, Dila Capital
VUIHOC raises $6M. / Vietnam, Content Provider / TNB Aura
FreeWheelin raises $5.4M. / South Korea, Content Provider (Math) / Smilegate Investment, Altos Venture, DSC Investment
Motrix raises $1.8M. / Brazil, School Provider / Grupo Agathos
Teachy raises $1.6M. / Brazil, Instructor Tools / NXTP, Roble Ventures
Zenith Learning raises $1.4M. / Singapore, Afterschool Centers / Trihill Capital, East Ventures, Orvel Ventures, One Leaf Capital, Ascend Angel Network
Kidovo raises $1.2M. / US, Content Provider / Venture Highway, Good Capital
Interval raises $275K. / India, Tutoring / Angels
Newsela acquires Formative. / US, Content Development & Assessment
TimeEdit acquires Vorsen. / Sweden, K12 Infrastructure & Curriculum
Specialized Education Services acquires Lattice Educational Services. / US, Special Education Services
PowerSchool acquires SchoolMessenger for $300M. / US, LMS & School Infrastructure Provider
The Vistria Group acquires Really Great Reading Company. Really Great Reading Company is the actual name of the company, not my opinion (which, as always, is ~neutral) / US, Curriculum Developer / Vistria Group (buyout)
Leverage Edu raises $40M on $150M valuation. / India, International Recruitment / ETS
Craydel raises $1M. / Kenya, School Infrastructure / Enza Capital, Future of Learning Fund, BriteGaze, Bisk Ventures, Tekton Ventures
Sage Publications acquire Hubro Education. / US, Curriculum Developer & Games-based Learning
Schultz Campus acquires Learnlet. / Denmark, Curriculum Developers
Toprankers acquires Lex Guru. / India, Test Prep
Tuition.io acquires Wiley’s Tuition Manager Business. Wiley continues to consolidate around publishing. / US, School Infrastructure
Datapeople raises $13M. / US, Recruitment Platform / GreatPoint Capital, New Markets Venture Partners, First Round Capital, Nextview Ventures, Uncork Capital
Loora raises $9.25M. / Israel, English Language Learning / Emerge, Kaedan Capital, Two Lanterns Venture Partners
Kinnu raises $6.5M. / UK, Instructional Design / LocalGlobe, Cavalry Ventures, Spark Capital, Jigsaw
NodeFlair raises $2M. / Singapore, Recruitment Platform / 500 Global, Persol Global
Doshi raises £1M. / UK, Content Provider (Financial Services) / Calm/Storm Ventures, Angels
StellarUp raises $545K. / Amsterdam, Talent Development Platform
Achieve Partners acquires Elentra. / US, Training Provider (Allied Health) / Achieve Partners (buyout)
Talent Inc acquires Lloyd. / US, Talent Platforms
Teal acquires OwnTrail. / US, Talent Platforms
Archipel Academy acquires Quofox. / Netherlands, Corporate Training Providers
Certus acquires Workforce180. / US, Training & Certification Providers
General Funding News
H1 2023 EdTech Funding Market. Awesome summary of what this year’s funding market has looked like thus far. / via Reach Capital
Emeritus looks to raises $100-150M. Unofficial report, so please read with several tablespoons of salt. That said, raising money to make acquisitions seems smart. / via LiveMint
UpGrad in discussions to buy majority stake Udacity. 🤷♂️ / via EconomicTimes
Matthew Wertz joins KnowFully Learning Group as CEO. / via PRNewswire
Dave Gardner joins StraighterLine as CTO. / via PRNewswire
Craig Maloney joins InStride as CEO, / via businesswire
Aaron McCullough joins 2U as CPO. / via Yahoo Finance
Arjun Mohan re-joins Byju’s as CEO of International. / via Moneycontrol
Nelis Parts and Mark Moran join Fullstack Academy as CEO and CMO, respectively. / via businesswire
Skill-Lync lays off 20% of workforce. / via Techcrunch
FrontRow shuts down. / via Techcrunch
Featured Organization - EdTech MBA
The EdTech MBA Community is launching its Fall 2023 Fellowship program to match edtech and future of work companies with top graduate student talent. Fall 2023 internships are remote and can be paid or unpaid!
The employer deadline to submit an internship role is this Friday, July 21. Read on for more information about the group and the fellowship:
What is the EdTech MBA Community?
Founded in 2021, the community organizes 1200+ students to further engage with their interests within education technology. Members include current and former students from top business schools and graduate programs globally, such as Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB and Graduate School of Education, MIT Sloan, Wharton, Kellogg Northwestern, Chicago Booth, and London Business School.
What is the EdTech MBA Community Fellowship?
The fellowship offers edtech employers the opportunity to hire high-performing graduate students for a ten-week project of critical importance to their company. Fellows spend 10 hours/week contributing to projects and operations. Last year, the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 fellowships matched 60+ students to employers including upGrad, Amira Learning, Winnie, UBITS, and Preply. Fellows have worked across diverse functional groups including strategy, product management, business development, and GTM.
Timeline: The Fall 2023 Fellowship will run for ten weeks between September and December 2023, with specific timing to be agreed upon by employer/fellow(s). You will receive the top candidates for your project proposal by August 7 and must make Fellowship offers by August 23.
Compensation: Compensation (including paid vs. unpaid) is up to the employer; however, there may be a lower chance of a successful match for unpaid opportunities. Hourly compensation for fellows typically ranges between $30 - $60 / hour.
Cost to participate: All employers who decide to hire a candidate for the fellowship will be responsible for a $499 placement fee. The community keeps this fee minimal to ensure that it is affordable to companies of all stages and does not deter them from applying.
Process: The EdTech MBA Community Leadership team will screen and review applicants to determine the top candidates for your project proposal. Employers will interview the top applicants and make final hiring decisions. A few key details:
By submitting a project proposal, you are committing to interviewing at least 3 top candidates for your opportunity
If you determine that none of the top candidates are strong fits for your proposal after 3 interviews, you can pull out of the process. Otherwise, we ask that employers complete the process from start to finish
If you extend an offer to a candidate and the candidate accepts, you must let the EdTech MBA Community know and complete the provided hiring decision survey
Next Steps: Please submit your project proposal by Friday, July 21 at 3 pm PST / 6 pm EST. Please submit a separate Google Form for each project proposal
Louisiana early-childhood funding set to plummet. The state used one-time pandemic relief aid to dramatically expand childcare coverage. Even with record funding from the state legislature, ongoing funding will only cover ~1/4 of previous number of enrollments. We are, unfortunately, about to see a lot more articles like this. / via The 74Million
Related, A Looming Crisis. / via EdSurge
Boston may have cracked the code on universal PreK. / via HuffPost
Newark Public Schools puts Khanmigo to the test. / via New York Times
With creative edit, Wisconsin governor raises school funding for 400 years. It is easy to be amused by this. It is harder to ask “why are we using our governance tools like this?”
Related, GOP House members propose 80% cut to Title I. Using education spending, whether proposed or enacted, to win political points is lame. / via K12 Dive
Related, Michael Bloomberg says US NAEP scores are an embarrassing bi-partisan failure. / via The Wall Street Journal
Districts used 2,591 EdTech tools on average in 2022-23. A reminder to check with your local IT Officer on whether they prefer cash or bitcoin for their holiday bonuses. / via K12 Dive
How real is the “Summer Slide”? / via Scientific American
California debates Data Science vs. Algebra II. / via The Chronicle of Higher Education
Related, Jo Boaler is leading the math-instruction revolution. Critics say her claims don’t always add up. / via The Chronicle of Higher Education
Related, Algebra FTW? California reverses course on data science admission standard. / via Chronicle of Higher Education
California becomes 40th state to mandate dyslexia screening. / via Education Week
6 states now offer universal school meals. / via Education Week
Related, USDA to give states $1.3B to purchase school meals. / via K12 Dive
Where did Moms for Liberty come from? / via The Free Press
Related, Moms for Liberty flexes its muscles and faces pushback. / via The Hechinger Report
Inflation will continue to batter colleges through fiscal 2024. / via Higher Ed Dive
ACE plans to introduce new Carnegie Classification methodology this year. / via Higher Ed Dive
Is there a future for US campuses in China? / via Inside Higher Ed
More universities joining the European Universities network. I’m looking to learn more about what this network is, please reach out if you know something about it! / via The PIE News
What is college for? No particularly novel information here, but a good primer on the debate, with supporting data. / via The New York Times
American confidence in higher ed hits new low. / via Inside Higher Ed
Australian University vice-chancellor questions Australia’s embrace of microcredentials after successful pilot of microcredential program. No one saw that one coming. / via Times Higher Education
Mexican universities urged to capitalize on nearshoring boom. / via Times Higher Education
With Supreme Court decision, college admissions could become more subjective. / via New York Times
Related, with end of Affirmative Action, Adversity Scores may become the new tool. / via New York Times
Related, as Affirmative Action ends, HBCUs wait or plan for the fallout. / via Inside Higher Ed
Related, President Biden responds to Supreme Court decision with new plans for student debt relief. / via Higher Ed Dive
Related, Biden-Harris administration to provide 804,000 borrowers with $39 Billion in automatic loan forgiveness as a result of fixes to Income Driven Repayment plans. / via US Department of Education
Byju’s: the unravelling of India’s most-valued start-up. / via The BBC
Related, Byju’s is falling apart. Who wore it better? / via ETCH
Related, Byju’s in discussions to sell stake in Aakash. / via Inc42
Related, Prosus, Byju’s largest shareholder, cuts internal valuation of company to $5.1B (~1/5 of 2021 peak) while company seeks $1B in fresh funding / via Techcrunch and Bloomberg
Related, Minerva Project’s report on Key Strategies for integrating Artificial Intelligence into Higher Education. / via Minerva Project
Duolingo replaces TV ads with TikTok posts. / via Wall Street Journal
I’m losing confidence in advocating for a laissez-faire approach to AI use in/around the classroom (at least in the short term).
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!