Education


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Coursera is planning to file to go public tomorrow

Coursera, an online education platform that has seen its business grow amid the coronavirus pandemic, is planning to file paperwork tomorrow for its initial public offering, sources familiar with the matter say. The company has been talking to underwriters since last year, but tomorrow could mark its first legal step in the process to IPO. The Mountain View-based business, founded in 2012, was last valued at $2.4 billion in the private markets, during a Series F fundraising event in July 2020. B...
Tags: Startups, TC, Education, Tech, Bloomberg, B Corp, Edtech, Coursera, Exit, Udemy, Chegg, SPAC, K12 Inc, GSV, Jeff Maggioncalda, IPO Coursera


GSV Ventures doubles assets managed with new fund focused on global edtech

GSV Ventures, co-founded by Deborah Quazzo and Michael Cohn, has raised $180 million in its second fund, exclusively focused on backing edtech startups across the globe. The startup now manages $277 million in cumulative assets, inclusive of its debut fund that was closed in 2016. The new fund will let GSV invest in 13 core holdings, with an average check size of $15 million. The firm reserves up to $20 million per position for follow-on capital. It will invest in seed, Series A and late growth...
Tags: TC, Education, Indonesia, India, Tech, Diversity, United States, Venture Capital, Edtech, Coursera, Deborah Quazzo, Nearpod, GSV, Michael Cohn, Techcrunch Include, Quazzo


Newsela, the replacement for textbooks, raises $100M and becomes a unicorn

Newsela, a SaaS platform for K-12 instructional material backed by the likes of TCV, Kleiner Perkins, Reach Capital, and Owl Ventures, announced today that it has raised $100 million in a Series D round. The financing was led by new investor Franklin Templeton, and brings Newsela’s valuation to $1 billion. The new round is larger than the aggregate of Newsela’s prior capital raised to-date. “Hitting $1 billion [in valuation] doesn’t change a thing,” Newsela CEO Matthew Gross told TechCrunch. But...
Tags: TC, Media, Education, Tech, Analytics, Teaching, United States, National Geographic, Edtech, Matthew Gross, Newsela, Franklin Templeton, Textbook, TCV Kleiner Perkins Reach Capital and Owl Ventures


Codecademy eyes the enterprise with $40 million in new capital

After going over four years without raising any capital, coding class platform Codecademy has raised a new tranche of money: a $40 million Series D round led by Owl Ventures, with participation from Prosus and Union Square Ventures. The startup is the latest edtech business to bring on capital after years without it, a list that includes ClassDojo, CourseHero, Quizlet and Udacity. But founder Zach Sims, who began the company in 2011 as a Columbia student, says that Codecademy’s growth, and hunge...
Tags: Startups, TC, Codecademy, Education, India, Tech, Coding, Edtech, Columbia, Udacity, Union Square Ventures, Chegg, Sims, Zach Sims, Owl Ventures, Recent Funding


ErudiFi raises $5 million Series A to give students in Southeast Asia more education financing options

Based in Singapore, ErudiFi wants to help more students in Southeast Asia stay in school by giving them affordable financing options. The startup announced today it has raised a $5 million Series A, co-led by Monk’s Hill Ventures and Qualgro. ErudiFi currently works with more than 50 universities and vocational schools in Indonesia and the Philippines. Co-founder and chief executive officer Naga Tan told TechCrunch that students in those countries have limited financing options, and often rely o...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Asia, Education, Indonesia, Finance, Southeast Asia, Singapore, Philippines, Fintech, Tan, Monk 's Hill Ventures, Peng T Ong, ErudiFi, Philippines Co


Tired of ‘Zoom University’? So is edtech

The rise of “Zoom University” was only possible because edtech wasn’t ready to address the biggest opportunity of the past year: remote learning at scale. Of course, the term encapsulates more than just Zoom, it’s a nod to how schools had to rapidly adopt enterprise video conferencing software to keep school in session in the wake of closures brought on by the virus’ rapid spread. Now, nearly a year since students were first sent home because of the coronavirus, a cohort of edtech companies is e...
Tags: Google, Startups, TC, Class, Enterprise, Education, Microsoft, Tech, Remote Work, Inspace, Facetime, Chromebooks, Edtech, Hall, Coursera, Emergence Capital


Google to roll out slate of over 50 updates for Classroom, Meet and other online education tools

Google today introduced a suite of updates for its online education tools whose adoption and further development have been accelerated by the pandemic, including Google Classroom, Google Meet and the next generation of G Suite for Education, now rebranded as Google Workspace for Education. In total, Google is promising more than 50 new features across its education products, with a focus on meeting educators’ and admins’ needs, in particular, in addition to those of the students. When Google fir...
Tags: Google, TC, Education, India, Tech, Chromebooks, Edtech, Classroom, Maharashtra, ChromeVox, Google Meet, G Suite for Education, Security Center, Google Classroom Google, Google Workspace for Education, Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals


Goldman Sachs and Sesame Workshop pour money into this edtech firm’s newest fund

Shauntel Garvey and Jennifer Carolan liked edtech before the sector was cool, so the duo co-founded Reach Capital in 2015 with a $53 million debut fund. The San Francisco-based venture firm has since put checks into education startups including Newsela, Sketchy, ClassDojo and Outschool, landing six exits so far. Now, after seeing its portfolio accelerate in the wake of the coronavirus, Reach is announcing its third fund aimed at backing edtech startups. Reach Capital III is a $165 million fund, ...
Tags: TC, Education, Sesame Street, San Francisco, Tech, Chicago, Venture Capital, Fund, Goldman Sachs, Edtech, Early Stage, Reach Capital, Owl Ventures, Quizlet, Carolan, Outschool


Labster gets millions from a16z to bring virtual science lab software to the world

Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm with $16.5 billion in assets under management, has poured millions into an edtech startup that sells virtual STEM lab simulations to institutions. Copenhagen-based Labster, which sells virtual science laboratory simulations to schools, announced today that it has raised $60 million in a Series C round led by the prominent Silicon Valley firm, including participation from existing investors GGV Capital, Owl Ventures and Balderton Capital. Labster has no...
Tags: Startups, TC, Asia, Education, Africa, Tech, Vr, Virtual Reality, Denmark, Silicon Valley, Andreessen Horowitz, Copenhagen, Edtech, Latin America, Jensen, California Community College


Blair launches $100M facility to fund ISAs for students

Income-share agreements, or ISAs, have been gathering force as an alternative financial model for students, particularly at non-traditional schools like coding boot camps and trade schools. We’ve done over the years in terms of how these loan products incentivize students and colleges to work together for better professional outcomes. Given their novelty though, one of the largest barriers to wide adoption remains the lack of capital for these models. That’s starting to change, and com...
Tags: TC, Y Combinator, Education, Funding, Tech, Blair, Mike Butcher, Income Share Agreements, COVID, Mike Mahlkow, Mahlkow Constantin Schreiber, David Nordhausen, YC Blair, Mahlkow, Blair So Blair, Blair Servicing


Extra Crunch roundup: 500 Startups’ demo day, smart SaaS pricing and much more

Demo days at startup accelerators are a pretty big deal around here. These events aren’t just a chance to review the latest cohort of hopeful entrepreneurs — they also showcase the technology, products and services that will compete for VC and consumer attention over the next few years. You never know where a hit will come from, which is why these events capture our attention. Here’s just one example from Y Combinator’s Summer 2013 Demo Day: Positioning itself as the “FedEx of today,” it hopes...
Tags: Startups, TC, Europe, Education, Okta, Tech, Best, Artificial Intelligence, SaaS, Venture Capital, Public, Alex, Robinhood, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Union Square Ventures, Databricks


BeGreatTV to offer MasterClass-like courses taught by Black and brown innovators

BeGreatTV, an online education platform featuring Black and brown instructors, recently closed a $450K pre-seed round from Stand Together Ventures Lab, Arlan Hamilton, Tiffany Haddish and others. The goal with BeGreatTV is to enable anyone to learn from talented Black and brown innovators and leaders, founder and CEO Cortney Woodruff told TechCrunch. “When you think of being a Black or brown person or individual who wants to learn from a Black or brown person, there’s nothing that really exists...
Tags: TC, Beyonce, Education, Tech, Diversity, John, Lil Wayne, Drake, Black, Hamilton, Include, Cortez, Masterclass, David Sedaris, Woodruff, Oreal


Class adds $30 million to its balance sheet for a Zoom-friendly edtech solution

Class, launched less than a year ago by Blackboard co-founder Michael Chasen, integrates exclusively with Zoom to offer a more customized classroom for students and teachers alike. The inaugural product, Class for Zoom, uses both management and instruction tools to bolster the video conferencing call experience. Formerly named ClassEDU, the startup announced today that it has added $30 million to its balance sheet, upping its total funding secured to $46 million. Raising that much pre-launch giv...
Tags: Startups, TC, Europe, Class, Education, Funding, Tech, Edtech, Sdk, Early Stage, Udemy, Emergence Capital, Zoom, LMS, Chasen, Michael Chasen


Edtech valuations aren’t skyrocketing, but investors see more exit opportunities

Less than a year after we put out an initial temperature check survey, it’s clear that specialist investors are even more bullish on edtech. Bears are hard to find right now: the sector, once undercapitalized, has brought in $10 billion in venture capital funding globally in 2020. As investors told us last week, the biggest consumer opportunity in 2021 and beyond is lifelong learning (and portfolio companies have the profits to prove it). But despite edtech’s noise, the second installment of our...
Tags: Startups, TC, Europe, Education, Tech, Vista, Venture Capital, Silicon Valley, Edtech, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Union Square Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, SPAC, Skillsoft, Deborah Quazzo, Owl Ventures


Language-learning service Babbel adds live classes, games and more

Babbel, the Berlin-based language-learning platform, today announced that it is now going well beyond its core app-based learning service and is introducing live classes. Capped at six students, these conversation-driven classes will be taught by certified teachers, using Babbel’s existing methodology. Learners can add live classes to their existing Babbel subscription for an additional fee, starting at $110 for five classes/month, or subscribe to them as a standalone product (though they’ll als...
Tags: Startups, TC, Apps, Education, Youtube, Berlin, Tech, United States, Teacher, Babbel, Hansen, Julie Hansen, Wikis, Babbel Hansen, Christian Hillemeyer Babbel


Udemy’s new president discusses the reskilling company’s future

Udemy, which launched more than a decade ago, has sold courses to 50 million students through its digital learning platform. But new president Greg Brown sees “exponential growth” opportunities in doubling down on its enterprise arm, which currently has over 7,000 customers. The shift within Udemy has been brewing for years, but recent tailwinds have shifted the way the business closes contracts. In a phone interview, Brown said Udemy for Business, the company’s corporate lear...
Tags: TC, Education, Tech, Edtech, Coursera, Udemy, Pluralsight, Brown, ARR, Greg Brown


Extra Crunch roundup: Edtech VC survey, 5 founder mistakes, fintech liquidity, more

Edtech is so widespread, we already need more consumer-friendly nomenclature to describe the products, services and tools it encompasses. I know someone who reads stories to their grandchildren on two continents via Zoom each weekend. Is that “edtech?” Similarly, many Netflix subscribers sought out online chess instructors after watching “The Queen’s Gambit,” but I doubt if they all ran searches for “remote learning” first. Edtech needs to reach beyond underfunded public school systems to beco...
Tags: Apple, Startups, TC, Cloud, Europe, New York, Hardware, Enterprise, Media, Education, Entrepreneurship, Boston, Africa, Tech, Netflix, Digital Media


Nerdy, a tutoring marketplace startup, is going public via SPAC

A gig economy-powered consumer edtech platform is heading to the New York Stock Exchange. Edtech startup Nerdy, which owns the popular tutoring business Varsity Tutors, is seeking to become a public company through a special purpose acquisition vehicle, otherwise known as a SPAC. Nerdy will merge with TPG Pace Tech Opportunities (NYSE: PACE), a publicly traded SPAC since 2015. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year. The deal will value Nerdy at $1.7 billion. Th...
Tags: Startups, TC, Education, Tech, Edtech, Tutoring, Exit, Varsity Tutors, Nyse, SPAC, Nerdy, Deborah Quazzo, GSV, TPG Pace Tech Opportunities, New York Stock Exchange Edtech, SPAC Nerdy


13 investors say lifelong learning is taking edtech mainstream

The venture potential of a startup that caters to individual students — instead of a slow-moving, small-pocketed institution — has a bullish aura that attracts investors. Add in a pandemic that forced many to embrace remote learning overnight, and it makes sense that we have seen companies like Outschool and ClassDojo turn first profits while startups like Quizlet and ApplyBoard reached $1 billion valuations. Last year brought a flurry of record-breaking venture capital to t...
Tags: Startups, TC, Europe, Education, US, Tech, United States, Venture Capital, Lambda, Edtech, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Union Square Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Mckinsey, PitchBook


12 investors say lifelong learning is taking edtech mainstream

The venture potential of a startup that caters to individual students — instead of a slow-moving, small-pocketed institution — has a bullish aura that attracts investors. Add in a pandemic that forced many to embrace remote learning overnight, and it makes sense that we have seen companies like Outschool and ClassDojo turn first profits while startups like Quizlet and ApplyBoard reached $1 billion valuations. Last year brought a flurry of record-breaking venture capital to t...
Tags: Startups, TC, Europe, Education, US, Tech, United States, Venture Capital, Lambda, Edtech, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Union Square Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Mckinsey, PitchBook


UCLA is building a digital archive of mass incarceration with a new $3.6M grant

UCLA researchers have been awarded a $3.65 million grant to collect, contextualize, and digitally preserve a huge archive of materials relating to policing and mass incarceration. It should help historians and anthropologists, but more fundamentally it will thoroughly document a period that many would rather forget. The “Archiving the Age of Mass incarceration” effort is being led by Kelly Lytle Hernandez, director of the university’s Bunche Center for African American Studies and creator of Mil...
Tags: TC, Education, La, Government, Los Angeles, Tech, Seattle, Lapd, Policing, Ucla, Andrew W Mellon, Ethnic Studies, Kelly Lytle Hernández, Million Dollar Hoods, Bunche Center for African American Studies, Lytle Hernandez


Extra Crunch roundup: Digital health VC survey, edtech M&A, deep tech marketing, more

I had my first telehealth consultation last year, and there’s a high probability that you did, too. Since the pandemic began, consumer adoption of remote healthcare has increased 300%. Speaking as an unvaccinated urban dweller: I’d rather speak to a nurse or doctor via my laptop than try to remain physically distanced on a bus or hailed ride traveling to/from their office. Even after things return to (rolls eyes) normal, if I thought there was a reliable way to receive high-quality healthcare in...
Tags: Health, Startups, TC, Facebook, Asia, Europe, Enterprise, Education, Privacy, Developer, Washington, Finance, US, San Francisco, Tech, Diversity


Sounding Board raises cash as startups wake up to executive coaching

In an unprecedented work environment defined by distributed teams and virtual-only communication, two co-founders think their 2018 bet reigns truer than ever: mentors need mentorship, too. Christine Tao and Lori Mazan , the brains behind Sounding Board, want to train any leader within an organization to be a better leader. The San Francisco startup connects anyone from first-time managers to C-suite executives with coaches through a marketplace. Revenue has doubled or tripled every year sin...
Tags: Startups, TC, Education, San Francisco, Executive Coaching, Tech, Kevin Johnson, TechCrunch, Tao, Sounding Board, OKR, David Blake, Canaan Partners, Recent Funding, Christine Tao, Lori Mazan


UK’s WhiteHat rebrands as Multiverse, raises $44M to build tech apprenticeships in the US

University education is getting more expensive, and at the moment it feels a bit like a petrie dish for infections, but the long-term trends continue to show a dramatic growth in the number of people worldwide getting degrees beyond high school, with one big reason for this being that a college degree generally provides better economic security. But today, a startup that is exploring a different route for those interested in technology and knowledge worker positions — specifically by way of appr...
Tags: Google, TC, Europe, UK, Enterprise, Education, Developer, US, Tech, Diversity, Tony Blair, Lightspeed Venture Partners, General Catalyst, Index Ventures, Blair, Cutler


YC-backed Blabla raises $1.5M to teach English through short videos

Short, snappy, entertaining videos have become an increasingly common way for young people to receive information. Why not learn English through TikTok-like videos too? That was what prompted Angelo Huang to launch Blabla. Originally from Taiwan, Huang relocated to Shanghai in 2019 to start Blabla after working in Silicon Valley for over a decade. A year later, Blabla was chosen as part of Y Combinator’s 2020 summer cohort. The coronavirus had begun to spread in the U.S. at the time, keeping mil...
Tags: TC, Y Combinator, Asia, Education, China, Southeast Asia, Funding, Tech, Taiwan, Shanghai, Tencent, Silicon Valley, Telefonica, Latin America, Yc, Huang


Inside SuperCharger Ventures’ debut virtual edtech accelerator

Before the pandemic, edtech companies went decades without raising financing due to lack of interest from generalist venture capitalists. Now, more than a year since COVID-19 began, the sector is showing signs of maturation, from first profits to unicorns, potential IPOs and a rush of talent. Momentum in mind, cross-border venture capital firm SuperCharger Ventures is launching a debut accelerator exclusively for early-stage edtech founders. The 12-week accelerator, which kicks off today, is bei...
Tags: TC, Asia, Accelerator, Europe, Education, China, Tech, United States, Venture Capital, BSD, COVID, Supercharger Ventures, Janos Barberis, Barberis, NextView Ventures NextView Ventures, Taylor Freeman Axon Park


The tech-powered wave of smart, not slow, tutoring sessions

While starting a tutoring marketplace is easy, scaling is often where the troubles begin. Tutoring marketplaces require a base of tutors that have the bandwidth and empathy to work with students across different learning styles, goals and comprehension levels. The nuance means that fast scale isn’t foolproof and can lead edtech startups into a classic marketplace downfall: the inability to grow consistently while also providing definite outcomes. But, as 2020 showed edtech, the demand for quick ...
Tags: Google, TC, Education, Tech, Edtech, Chegg, Dan Rosensweig, Live Tutoring, Quizlet Chegg Course Hero


Fluent Forever raises $4.9M for its language learning system

Fluent Forever, a startup that uses a novel learning system to help its users master a new language faster, has raised a $4.9 million funding round led by Denver-based Stout Street Capital. Other investors in this round include The Syndicate, LAUNCH, Mana Ventures, Noveus VC, Flight.VC, Insta VC, UpVentures, Firebrand Ventures, Cultivation Capital, Spero Ventures and Lofty Ventures. In many ways, Fluent Forever is a direct competitor to Duolingo, Babbel and similar online language learning...
Tags: Startups, TC, Crowdsourcing, Learning, Education, Tech, Denver, Duolingo, Anki, Babbel, Jason Calacanis, Language Learning, Gabriel Wyner, Fluent Forever, Recent Funding, Stout Street Capital


To win post-pandemic, edtech needs to start thinking big

The edtech market raked in more than $10 billion in venture capital investment globally in 2020, but for students, parents and teachers, the year was defined more by its scramble than its surge. Nandini Talwar, a student and teacher’s assistant at Columbia University, wants to hold more efficient office hours so students don’t have to wait on a Zoom call. TraLiza King, a director at PWC and single mother, needs a Zoom alternative for her 4-year-old, who is too young to understand how to mute and...
Tags: TC, Codecademy, Education, Tech, Digital Divide, Pwc, Venture Capital, Columbia University, North Carolina, TCG, Edtech, Piazza, Zach Sims, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Bryce Durbin, Quizlet


Brainly raises $80M as its platform for crowdsourced homework help balloons to 350M users

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a major upswing in virtual learning — where some schools have gone (and stayed) remote, and others have incorporated significantly stronger online components, in order to help communities maintain more social distancing. That has in turn led to a surge in the usage of tools to help home learners do their work better, and today, one of them is announcing a growth round that speaks to the opportunity in that market. Brainly, a startup from Poland that has built a p...
Tags: TC, Europe, Education, Indonesia, Funding, Articles, Tech, E-commerce, Artificial Intelligence, United States, Quora, Poland, Brazil, Machine Learning, Homework, Gamification



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