K-12 Dealmaking: Chegg Acquires Easy Solutions; Age of Learning Raises $150 Million

Marketplace K-12

The month of May kicked off with a significant number of deals in the ed-tech sector, including acquisitions by Chegg and ACT, Inc. In addition, several companies, including Age of Learning, CodeCombat and GotIt!, Chegg Acquires Imagine Easy Solutions: The learning platform provider has acquired Imagine Easy Solutions , the provider of EasyBib.com and other writing tools, for approximately $42 million in an all-cash transaction, Santa Clara, Calif.-based

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Blackboard Co-Founder: ‘4 Secrets to Building a Tech Company for Higher Ed’

Edsurge

To mark the 20th anniversary of Blackboard, one of the first LMSes, the company’s co-founder, Matthew Pittinsky, wrote an epic blog post about the company’s history, which includes his advice for today’s edtech leaders. As origin stories go, the founding of Blackboard twenty years ago lacked that single light bulb moment that tech companies like to tell. The winner of the LMS market would be the company with the most widely adopted platform.

Mark Cuban, ECMC Lead $1.8M Round for Cluster to Develop Industrial Tech Talent

Edsurge

million in a seed round led by Mark Cuban and ECMC Group, an education nonprofit. Other investors include education technology executives, like Penn Foster CEO Frank Britt and Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig, along with Zynga founder Mark Pincus and Flatiron Health CEO, Nat Turner. The new roles require new digital skills—with design tools like Siemens NX and CATIA, and companies struggle to find qualified candidates, according to Cluster’s founder and CEO, Kim Taylor.

How Merger of Two Textbook Giants Could Impact Course Materials

Edsurge

That appears to be the hope of officials at the two companies, which have both been trying for years to shift the focus of their businesses from selling print books to shipping software and other online tools, and have recently been experimenting with subscription models.

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EdSurge HigherEd Year in Review: Our Top Higher Education Stories of 2018

Edsurge

Cheating on Chegg? How the Company Aims to Catch Tutoring Requests That Go Too Far. It’s no surprise that students would ask for help on platforms like Chegg, which offer digital textbooks as well as tutoring and homework help. Here’s a look at how the education company is responding. Headlines and news feeds frequently flash statistics about how millennials—more than any group before it—are more likely to switch jobs and careers several times in their lifetime.

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Fueled by Big Rounds, Edtech Funding Surges to $887M in First Half of 2017

Edsurge

edtech companies last year, the dollars returned with a fury during the first six months of 2017. The number one thing that stood out for me is the TPG/Rise investment in EverFi,” says Jason Palmer, a general partner at New Markets Venture Fund, referring to the private equity group that led EverFi’s round. Company. Several private-equity-backed companies have invested heavily in the “platform” approach. Company. The bull is back—or is it?

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?Major Publishers Dismiss Lawsuit Against Follett Corporation

Edsurge

Follett Corporation, a textbook distribution company, announced this week that it has agreed to adopt a set of “ Anti-Counterfeit Best Practices ,” a list of guidelines co-developed and endorsed by four major textbook publishers. As part of the agreement to adopt the principals, the publishers dismissed their case against Follett, which claimed the company was purchasing illegal copies of textbooks and selling them at its college stores and through other distribution channels.

?Major Textbook Publishers Sue Follett Over Counterfeit Sales

Edsurge

The companies claim many of Follett’s textbooks are purchased from questionable distributors that sell illegally-copied versions. However, the company released a statement calling the lawsuit an attempt to “cripple the campus store’s ability to provide lower-cost course material options, leaving students little choice but to buy higher priced texts from the publishers.” Other textbook distributors, including Chegg, Inc.

Why Your Financial Advisor Doesn’t Recommend Edtech Stocks

Edsurge

I’m excited for the industry’s future, and I think we can make money investing in publicly-traded edtech companies. Vanguard index fund which tracks the biggest companies on the NYSE and NASDAQ exchanges. Investment firms certainly track the technology sector, and some track the education sector , but there is no established benchmark for edtech companies. Cambium Learning Group. Chegg. Back in 2012, there were seven companies that fell into this category.

Move over 401(k)s — this new perk is helping millennials pay off college loans

The Hechinger Report

Alanda Povroznik, at head of table, works for a company that, as a benefit, will soon be helping her repay her college loans. An executive vice president at the investment company Natixis Global Asset Management, Farrington was surprised to find his audience of millennials unmoved.

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Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

“ Is Running a Company Like Leading a Classroom? Via The Outline : “The rise and fall of the company behind ’ Reader Rabbit’ and all your favorite educational games.” ” A data breach at Chegg – more details in the data and surveillance section below. The learn-to-code company has raised $6.9 Via Techcrunch : “ Chegg resets 40 million user passwords after data breach.”

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Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

Via Inside Higher Ed : “Two sports apparel company executives and an aspiring sports agent were found guilty Wednesday of wire fraud charges in connection with the most significant sports scandal in recent National Collegiate Athletic Association history – a scheme to pay off the families of men’s basketball recruits and secure their commitment to teams at Adidas-sponsored universities.” Doesn’t look like the company has anyone to take his place yet.

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MissionU Says It Can Replace Traditional College With a One-Year Program

Edsurge

A venture-backed company today announced a new educational offering billed as an alternative to the standard undergraduate experience. He started his career as a consultant for Bain & Company, but during a trip to India when he was 25 years old he was inspired to start a nonprofit, Pencils of Promise, and to write a bestselling memoir called “The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change.”

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Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

” Via Education Week : “Security Companies Sell School ‘Hardening’ as Mass-Shooting Solution.” ” Via MyNDNow.com : “ Iowa company donates AR–15s to be placed in Bismarck schools.” Via Chalkbeat : “As Indiana test scores remain flat overall, gaps are growing between race and income groups.” The language learning company has raised $12.5

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Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

” (I’m including this here because all of these entities – Kushner’s family, the companies he received loans from – have education investments too.). ” (Learndirect is a job training company that has a major contract with the UK government.). ” Via The Chronicle of Higher Education : “Shadowy ‘Group of 17 Faculty’ Adds Confusion to Chapel Hill’s Silent Sam Debate.”

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Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

Via Forbes : “The Startup President: How France ’s Macron Nearly Built An EdTech Company.” ” Ed-tech: where you don’t need an actual product idea for a company, and you can incubate your neoliberalism anyway. Via Inside Higher Ed : “Career Training Groups Encouraged by Trump Pick for CTE Job.” So many people predicting this company would disrupt higher ed. Via Techcrunch : "Starting a robotics company out of school?

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Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

” Reminder: here are the education companies Palantir founder Peter Thiel has invested in. Via Edsurge : “What Colleges Should Know About A Growing ‘ Talent Strategy ’ Push By Companies.” Amazon Web Services suffered a major outage this week, knocking many education companies who use AWS offline. ” Via the press release : “ Cengage , McGraw-Hill Education , and Pearson have joined forces with Ingram and Chegg , Inc.

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Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

Via The Wall Street Journal : “ California plans to sue one of the nation’s largest student loan companies.” Via Pacific Standard : “How Universities Facilitate Far-Right Groups’ Harassment of Students and Faculty.” Chegg has acquired the flashcard app StudyBlue for $20.8 Each week, I gather a wide variety of links to education and education technology articles.

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Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

” The Black Alliance for Educational Options , a charter school advocacy group, announced it will cease operations at the end of the year. No disclosure in this or its Class Central article that it shares investors with these MOOC companies.). the nation’s largest virtual charter school management company , as president of academics, policy, and schools. Now he’s launching a new company – and of course it’s ed-tech.

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Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

“Researchers say removal of an IRS tool for financial aid applicants may have slowed FAFSA submissions, while college aid groups warn that affected students could already be losing out on aid,” Inside Higher Ed reports. ” Pearson and Chegg are partnering for textbook rentals. The adaptive learning company has raised $16 million total. The learn-to-code company has raised $1.19 TakeLessons has acquired digital sheet music company Chromatik.

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5 Ed-Tech Ideas Face The Chronicle’s Version of ‘Shark Tank’

Wired Campus

In the TV series Shark Tank, entrepreneurs with budding companies pitch their ideas to a panel of investors who ask probing questions and then decide whether to back the proposals. Our sharks were Goldie Blumenstyk, a senior writer at The Chronicle; Jason Jones, a co-editor of the ProfHacker blog and director of educational technology at Trinity College, in Connecticut; and Paul Freedman, founder of Entangled Ventures, an education-technology company.

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