Connecting classrooms across the globe via the Internet has become the new pen pal program, and initiatives like Skype in the Classroom and its instant translation feature are certainly leading the way in developed countries. But what about schools in areas that don’t have access to reliable Internet or even electricity?
FiftyThree, the startup behind the popular iPad drawing app Paper, announced a $30 million Series B led by NEA with participation of existing investors.
GuideSpark, which provides HR organizations with a platform to turn paper-based training material into interactive and mobile courses, has raised a $22.2 million Series C led by Meritech Capital Partners with participation from previous investors New Enterprise Associates, Storm Ventures, and IDG Ventures.
Instructure has raised a $40 million Series E led by Insight Venture Partners with participation of Bessemer Venture Partners and EPIC Ventures.
The venture round brings the total raised by Instructure to around $90 million and it will be the last before the planned IPO later this year.
San Francisco-based peer-to-peer lending platform SoFi (Social Finance) raised a $200 million Series D led by Third Point Ventures and affiliates of Third Point LLC, with participation of Wellington Management Company LLP, Institutional Venture Partners and existing investors.
Non-profit NewSchools Venture Fund is in the process of creating a new for-profit investment fund, reports EdSurge. The new fund will be lead by Jennifer Carolan who is currently in charge of the NewSchools Venture Seed Fund. Carolan will be leaving the non-profit on January 30th to focus on setting up the new fund.
Pearson is planning on investing an additional $50 million in edtech startups from emerging markets through the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund. Originally launched in 2012 with a budget of $15 million the fund has already invested in edtech startups from South Africa, Ghana, India and the Philippines. Half of the startups have a female CEO.
Online learning company lynda.com has raised a $186 million Series B led by private equity firm TPG and with participation from existing investors Accel Partners, Spectrum Equity and Meritech. David Trujillo of TPG will join the board of directors.
The round comes two years after a $103 million Series A, bringing lynda.com’s total funding raised to $289 million.
NetDragon, a Chinese mobile and game developer, raised a $52.5 million Series A for its online education subsidiary Best Assistant Education, valuing it at $477.5 million. Investors include IDG Capital Partners, Vertex Venture and Alpha Animation.
TAL Education Group, a Chinese K-12 after-school tutoring provider, led a $20 million Series C round in the online science community Guokr. TAL Education led the round, investing $15 million, the remaining $5 million came from existing investors IDG and others.