In this week’s Sunday Review we learn that experience without humility is not very helpful (when it comes to leading Coursera), that you can earn a MBA without spending a single dollar for tuition, that the SAT is useless, that school children in Ireland code 3D worlds and use the Oculus Rift, that you should not listen to music when you learn and much more.
And Happy Easter from the EDUKWEST team!
With episode 10 of On the Ed Chris and I take the show out of alpha mode and also bring back our popular Ed NewsTicker (ENT) format.
As always we take you through the most important fundraising stories, mergers and acquisitions as well as other other news of the week of April 14.
Tuition.io, a student loan managing platform, received an undisclosed investment from Raj Date through his investment firm Fenway Summer.
Tuition.io had previously raised a $1 million Seed Round from a group of investors.
Peer-to-peer lending platform Lending Club has acquired private education and elective medical procedures financer Springstone for $140 million in cash and stock.
To finance the deal, Lending Club raised $115 million, $50 million of which are debt financing and $65 million are new equity funding from T. Rowe Price, Blackrock and others. Lending Club is now valued at $3.8 billion.
Former textbook rental juggernaut turned student hub Chegg has acquired student deal platform Campus Special for $17 million in cash and stock.
Founded in 2005, Inc. Magazine has ranked Campus Special as one of the fastest growing private companies in the US from 2011 to 2014.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. announced the acquisition of French e-learning provider CrossKnowledge for $175 million in cash. The deal is expected to close on May 1st.
CrossKnowledge is a privately held company with over 200 employees.
Educational media franchise for children Jumpstart has raised $13 million in debt financing led by Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc. JumpStart’s portfolio mainly consists of educational games which are produced by Knowledge Adventure.
Along with additional funding from Telesoft Partners JumpStart will use the new funds to expand on their existing mobile and web products to unlock new potential in the children and family space.
Robots for children are a growing market. Our science expert Alicia Chang works with US-based Play-i which creates robots that fuse play with programming for preschoolers. And there is MOSS by Modular Robotics which targets a more grown up audience. Both startups have successfully raised money for prototypes or products via crowdfunding campaigns.
Now Berlin-based TinkerBots follows in their footsteps with a robotic building set that wants to appeal to both children and adults, hence the entire family.
West Corporation, a telecommunications services provider, announced the acquisition of SchoolMessenger, a mobile communications provider for the K-12 space.
The deal is expected to close during the second quarter of 2014, terms have not been disclosed.
UniSmart, a Nigerian startup that offers discounts and perks from online and in store to verified students, received a $25k seed investment from Savannah Fund.
The startup is currently participating in Savannah Fund’s accelerator program and was chosen out of 95 applicants.