Cherry Tree & Associates | June 2020 | Volume XIV, Issue 12
Permira Acquires Majority Stake in Education First’s English Language Schools for $1.5 Billion

Education First (“EF”), a provider of English language education services and schools in China and Indonesia, has been partially acquired by Permira, a private equity buyout group. Their majority stake in the company values the entire EF business at $1.5 billion and is the first time that the family-owned education has sold any piece of its business since its founding in 1965.
CampusLogic Raises $120 Million…

Phoenix-based, CampusLogic has announced that they have received a $120 million investment from Dragoneer Investment Group. CampusLogic is a developer of tools and solutions for college officials to manage scholarships, loans, and other forms of financial support for students. This investment brings the total capital raised by CampusLogic to $192 million, and the funds from this round will be used for to finance more acquisitions for the company.
…and Acquires RaiseMe

RaiseMe, a social enterprise focused on expanding access to higher education for low-income and first-generation students, has been acquired by CampusLogic. The combined entities will focus on driving more integration and innovation to empower colleges to enroll, engage, and retain more low-income and first-generation students. Over 2 million students use the RaiseMe platform to earn micro-scholarships from leading colleges and universities across the country.
Weld North Education Acquires Purpose Prep

Weld North Education, a provider of K-12 digital curriculum, has announced that it has acquired Purpose Prep, a technology-based platform of online courses that focus on social and emotional learning (“SEL”). Purpose Prep has over 1,000 hours of content with more than 600 instructional videos. Weld North expected SEL to become a core part of the company’s offerings.
Infobase Acquires Professional Development and Training Platform from Hoonuit

The interactive learning provider Infobase has announced the acquisition of the professional development and training platform (the former the Atomic Learning business) from Hoonuit. Hoonuit is a provider of education data management and analytic solutions for educations, and the divestiture of their development and training platform, will allow them to focus on their core solutions.
UWorld Acquires Themis Bar Review

UWorld, a provider of high-stakes online learning tools utilized by over 2 million students, has announced that they have acquired Themis Bar Review. Themis Bar Review offers online bar review courses that have helped almost 100,000 law students prepare for the bar exam.
Digital Promise Acquires Edcamps

Edcamps, a provider of professional development gatherings for teachers, has been acquired by Digital Promise, a nonprofit education technology company.  The materials and toolkits provided by Digital Promise will enhance the learning opportunities that educators will receive at the Edcamps events.
EDIC College Merges with Columbia Central University

EDIC College, a Puerto Rico-based health sciences college has merged with Columbia Central University. The operations of the two universities will continue under the Columbia Central University brand and continue to serve over 2 thousand students in its 4 campus locations and online education platform. EDIC was a portfolio company of Renovus Capital Partners, a Philadelphia-based private equity firm.
ODILO Raises $10 Million

A Spanish-based startup, ODILO provides digital content and learning services that assists users with personal and professional development. The Company announced the closing of a financing round of $10 million. The round was led by Swanlaab Venture Factory with participation from Endeavor Catalyst, CDTI, KIBO VC, JME VC, and Active VP. ODILO was use proceeds from the financing to increase development of its intelligent learning experience technology, increase its content offerings, and expand into new markets.
OnlineMedEd Raises $5 Million in Funding

OnlineMedEd, a clinical learning platform for healthcare students and professionals has announced that they have raised $5 million funding. Participants in the investment included physicians, the founders, and partners of some of the largest physician-owned firms in the United States. The OnlineMedEd platform is utilized by over 50 universities across the US and many more around the world.
Unacademy Acquires PrepLadder for $50 Million

Unacademy, an Indian online learning platform backed by Facebook, has announced that they have acquired PrepLadder, a Chandigarh-based startup which offers courses aimed at medical students. Prepladder claims to have more than 80,000 subscribers and has never raised capital from any external investors. Unacademy, which began as a YouTube Channel in 2015, has over 30 million students, with more than 700,000 accessing its app and website each day.
Strategic Education (Nasdaq:STRA) Acquires Australian and New Zealand Universities for $643 Million

Strategic Education Inc. (“SEI”), a provider of post-secondary education programs, has announced that it will acquire Laureate Education’s Australian and New Zealand academic operations for $642.7 million. This acquisition will expand SEI’s operations outside of its core market in the U.S. and bring its total online student population to 110,000 online students in over 85 countries.
Coursera Raises $130 Million in Series F Round

Coursera, an online platform of higher-ed courses and content for institutions, businesses, and government agencies, has announced the closing of a Series F round totaling $130 million. The round was led by NEA and included participation from Kleiner Perkins, SEEK Group, Learn Capital, SuRo Capital Corp, and G Squared. The company has experienced a 500% spike in enrollment over the previous spring as students seek a replacement for in-person courses due to the impact of COVID-19.
Campus Labs, Campus Management, and iModules Merge

Veritas Capital and Leeds Equity Partners, have announced the merger of several education companies, Campus Labs, Campus Management, and iModules, into one entity that provides a higher education marketplace connecting colleges and universities with actionable real-time data to drive decisions and insights. The new entity will be branded as Anthology, which will serve over 2,100 institutions in over 30 countries.
KnowFully Acquires CME Outfitters

KnowFully Learning Group, a provider of continuing professional education and exam preparation courses for individuals in the healthcare, accounting, and finance sectors, has acquired CME Outfitters. CME is a provider of accredited medical education content.
We Know Training Acquire Business Career College

We Know training, a platform of online training solutions and innovative approaches to e-learning, has announced that it has acquired Business Career College, a provider of online training for financial services and insurance industries.
Discovery Education Acquires Spiral

A leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, Discover Education has announced the acquisition of Spiral. Spiral is based in the United Kingdom and provides educators with a supportive collaborative learning and assessment platform in the classroom and remote environments.
Riiid Raises $42 Million in Pre-Series D Round

Riiid, a South Korea-based start up that focuses on developing AI test prep solutions, has closed a $41.8 million financing round. This round included investors such as Korea Development Bank, NVESTOR, and Intervest. This round brings the total capital raised by Riiid to $70.2 million.
University of Bridgeport Acquired by Goodwin University, Sacred Heart University, and Paier College of Art

Three colleges, Goodwin University, Sacred Heart University, and Paier College of Art have announced plans to acquire the assets of the University of Bridgeport. The new campus will offer students the option of taking courses at the neighboring institutions and allows for the transfer of credits between them all. Bridgeport offered courses to just under 5,500 students and was reaching into its endowment to subsidize operations each year.
Meishi Education Raises $28 Million in Series B

Meshi Education, a provider of overseas education services for students that seek to study in the US, UK, Canada, and Singapore, has announced that they have raised $28 million in a Series B round. The round was led by Riverhead Capital Investment Management. Meshi will use the funds on course innovation, talent consolidation and acquisition, and business development.
APDS Raises $5 Million in Series B

New York-based APDS, a provider of tablets to incarcerated inmates for learning purposes, has announced that they have raised $5 million in a Series B round. The round was co-led by New Markets Venture Partners and ReThink Education with additional participation from the Partnership Fund for New York City, Converge Venture Partners, ECMC Group, New U Venture Partners, and Strada Education Network. ADPS will use the funds to increase the number of programs across correctional facilities and further develop its proprietary learning platform and content offerings.
Vedantu Raises $100 Million in Series D Round

Vendantu is a Bangalore-based startup that offers online live and interactive courses for students in grades 6 through 12. The Company announced the closing of a Series D round in which it raised $100 million. The round was led by Coatue and included participation from existing investors in the company. This round brings the total capital raised by the company to $200 million.
For-profit education comprises more than 5% of the roughly $1.3 trillion that is spent on education in the U.S. annually. Cherry Tree created the Education For-Profit 50 Index representing a group of publicly traded for-profit education companies.
The For-Profit Education 50 Index consists of companies in the Pre-K-12, Postsecondary Education, Training and Development, and Education Products and Services segments for-profit education industry.
* EV= Enterprise Value
For those of you trying to keep score from home, Campus Management and Campus Labs, not to be confused with CampusLogic, decided to make the name game a little less confusing this month by merging and re-branding as Anthology.

My colleague Mike Buttry and I find this activity noteworthy because universities are having to not only invest in online programs (it is good to be an Online Program Management provider right now!), but also student services that are more flexible, more end-user friendly, and more capable of helping students engage in a more meaningful way. Both the Anthology merger, and the CampusLogic acquisition of RaiseMe, create more powerful solutions to offer institutions, and for institutions to use to help students succeed. While budgetary issues will likely be a considerable headwind, the competition among schools to get, retain, and support students is likely to drive continued growth in this sector. Furthermore, we expect continued investment (note the $120 million raised by CampusLogic) and M&A activity in this space in the coming year.

I should point out for those of you who don’t know, Mike is the former head of public affairs and strategy at Capella Education Company and Strategic Education Inc., and his knowledge and connections in the postsecondary market are unmatched. For a confidential conversation about your company’s strategic alternatives for exiting, merging, acquiring, or obtaining venture financing, and how trends in education affect your prospects, please contact us at 952-893-9012.
Prepared by:
Chad Johnson, Managing Partner | 952.253.6010

Follow me on Twitter @ChadEricJohnson

Cherry Tree & Associates is a private investment banking firm headquartered in Minneapolis. Our firm specializes in serving middle market companies and their owners, whether private, public, or divisions of larger corporations.
Important Disclosures

The information included in this publication has been obtained from public sources, and is not based upon private or confidential Cherry Tree information. Cherry Tree gathers its data from sources it considers reliable. However, it does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided within this publication. Any opinions presented reflect the current judgment of the authors and are subject to change. Cherry Tree makes no warranties, expressed or implied, regarding the accuracy of this information or any opinions expressed by the authors. Officers, directors, partners of Cherry Tree and Cherry Tree proprietary investment funds may have positions in the securities of the companies discussed, and certain affiliates of Cherry Tree may recommend to specific clients the purchase and sale of securities discussed in the publication. This publication does not constitute a recommendation with respect to the securities of any company discussed herein, and it should not be construed as such. Cherry Tree or its affiliates may from time to time provide investment banking or related services to these companies. Like all Cherry Tree employees, the authors of this publication receive compensation that is affected by overall firm profitability. We undertake no obligation to update any information in this publication.  

The Education For-Profit (EFP) 50 Index is a hypothetical index, and does not reflect an actual investment portfolio. Comparisons between the EFP 50 Index and the S&P 500 are for illustrative purposes only. Correlations in performance information for the EFP 50 Index and the S&P 500 should not be relied upon as indicative of risks involved in owning or holding a portfolio of securities similar to the EFP 50 Index. Past performance should not be relied upon as indicative of future performance.