Chegg announced that it has agreed to acquire InstaEDU, an online platform for on demand tutoring sessions, for $30 million in cash. InstaEDU’s co-founder and CEO Alison Johnston Rue will join Chegg as head of its tutoring business.
This week we saw Apollo Education’s entry into Africa through its acquisition of Milpark Education. Queen Rania Foundation and edX launched Edraak, the first MOOC platform in the Arab speaking world. With Curiosityville Houghton Mifflin Harcourt acquired its second startup within a week. Teachers pay Teachers raised venture capital from three well established funds and eduCanon managed to win two edu competitions which got them $115k in prize money.
All this and more on this week’s Ed News Ticker.
The upcoming launch of the Chegg Career Center is the next logical step for a company that aims to become the one-stop-shop for everything higher education.
The transition from textbook rental juggernaut to student hub began with Dan Rosensweig taking over as CEO in early 2010. Under his leadership Chegg went on an acquisition spree prior to its IPO last year. The goal was to turn a business that essentially had two peaks per year into a portal that would be used by students 300 days per year.
To get you up to speed for the week ahead, we serve you a Monday Ristretto here on EDUKWEST by picking the most important reads from the past week, putting them in a grinder and extracting the essential information for a short and punchy brew.
As every week, we’ve got three shots for you. Udemy raised a $32 million Series C to grow broad, deep and abroad. Cengage Learning opened an Innovation Hub in San Francisco. Chegg’s digital revenue keeps on growing.
Former textbook rental giant turned student hub Chegg reported its Quarter 1 2014 results, and according to CEO Dan Rosensweig
“The first quarter was a strong start to 2014 with Chegg digital revenue growing 66% year-over-year.”
The combined revenue is up 22% from Q1 2013 and now at $74.4 milllion. Although the company still has around 180,000 titles in its print library available for rent, Chegg has clearly moved on from textbook rentals to being a service provider that aims to cater to student needs in various different areas.
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.
Editor’s Note: This post has first been published on edcetera – straight talk on edtech.
Class notes or study notes marketplaces really are a fascinating vertical within the education technology startup space. Of course, most of these ventures are too small to be called a startup. They are more of what is called a buddy business where two or three friends come together with the right skills and create a small business that pays enough for beer and parties. Most of these ventures die as soon as the buddies find a real job or are simply too busy to keep the service up and running.
Flashnotes, a Boston-based marketplace for class notes acquired its competitor Moolaguides for an undisclosed amount. This is the second acquisition of a competitor by Flashnotes within twelve months.
Flashnotes raised a $3.6 million Series A from Stage 1 Ventures, Runa Capital, SoftBank Capital and Atlas Ventures in early February.
Chegg prepares for $150 million IPO
Probably the biggest story of the week and in the top 5 of this year so far. Textbook renter turned student hub Chegg prepares for IPO, aiming to raise $150 million.
If you are into number crunching, you can read through the 206 pages of the S-1 or get the main points from Kara Swisher’s article on AllThingsD.
The interesting parts are the fact that since 2010 Chegg has only had losses and therefore probably needs the money according to Swisher. I find the list of risk factors mentioned in the S-1 pretty telling. I am probably going to write a post about that sometime this week.
In other related Chegg news, the company was in fourth place in terms of online advertising spending in July – August 2012 with 2,097,738 total impressions according to analysis by AdGooroo.
Education App Store Kindertown acquired by Demme Learning
Another week, another “acquihire” of a startup we covered in the past. Kindertown, an educational app store that tested, reviewed and rated educational apps to help parents with the growing choice on iTunes and the Google Play Store, was acquired by Demme Learning.
According to TechCrunch this was one of the cases in which the founders start talking about partnering up just to find out that their missions are aligned with the smaller partner joining the bigger one in the end. Last week we wrote about Hoot.Me joining Civitas Learning which sounds like a similar case.
I think we are going to see more of these acquisitions in the months to come as there is a growing group of edtech startups that went through one, or several, incubator or accelerator programs, raised a bit of seed money and are now at the point where they need to raise a Series A. If you want to dive deeper into this topic, I wrote about the edtech incubator scene on edcetera back in February.
Language Courses in Freefall in the UK
As you might know, I started my career in online education as a language coach back in late 2007. Dealing with this market for quite sometime I thought that language learning must have hit rock bottom in the UK ages ago. But according to the results of this year’s A-levels foreign language courses are still in freefall.
The only languages that are somewhat stable are Mandarin, Arabic and Italian whereas Spanish is the only language that saw a small increase in students.
I wrote quite some articles about the UK and its relationship with learning foreign languages on our sister site Fair Languages, but you can probably sum it up with the anti-European sentiments and rhetoric by the government and the general notion that “English is enough”.
In this episode of the Today’s Campus Innovation Interview Series, I talk with Sean Conway, co-founder of Notehall.
A few years ago Notehall stirred up some discussion around the selling of study notes and guides yet managed to attract a growing audience of students and universities alike.
The startup was then acquired by textbook rental juggernaut Chegg for an undisclosed sum. In the interview Sean talks about the reasons why he and his co-founders started Notehall when they were still in college, how they managed to grow the platform and how it might get integrated in the Chegg platform this year.