Saturday, February 22, 2020

EduTech

We explore innovations and access in learning and education to help the development of skills and creativity for better career pathways and employment, creating healthier economies. 

India’s Most Valuable EduTech Startup Raises $150M, Looks to Expand Internationally

Byju’s, which has been called India’s first edutech unicorn, continues its fundraising spree with a $150 million investment led by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, which will help the company with its efforts to expand globally. The money brings total...

Meet Iranian Founder Who’s Looking to Disrupt U.S. Edutech Startup Market

Martin Basiri, CEO of ApplyBoard, started the company as an international student from Iran in 2015. ApplyBoard, an Ontario-based edutech company, snagged $55 million in series B funding. As more money is pouring into artificial intelligence-powered college counseling startups,...

OpenAI’s Holy Grail — to Build a Thinking Machine — Means Ideals Yield to Fundraising Reality

Karma_News Summary_OpenAI
The quest to build a machine that can understand or learn anything that a human can began as a public service at OpenAI, one of the world’s leading artificial intelligence labs. But four years after its founding, things are changing.

WndrCo Ventures Into Ed-Tech with Tinkergarten Investment

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Tinkergarten, a nationwide ed-tech learning program for children through age 8, received $21 million in financing from WndrCo, a holding company run by former DreamWorks and Dropbox executives. WndrCo, led by Dreamworks founder and former...

AR-Based Educational Toy Maker PlayShifu to Boost Growth with $7 Million Raise

PlayShifu, a maker of augmented reality educational toys, raised $7 million in a Series A round led by Chiratae, Inventus Capital and BIF. Three-year-old PlayShifu, with offices in California and India, said it will use the funding to expand...

Female-Led Unicorn Mobilizes Private Sector to Offer Education As a Work Perk

Karma_News Summary_Guild Education
It’s a scary time for American workers. To climb the socioeconomic ladder and receive that prestigious degree, you might face crippling student debt or settle for a job that could be taken by a robot one day. Stanford University graduate Rachel Carlson...

S. Korea’s Riiid Snags $18 Million: Asian Edutech’s AI Boom

South Korean edutech startup Riiid said it has secured $18 million in Series C funding, tapping into Asian countries’ demand for robotic tutors that makers claims are faster and cheaper than humans.  Riiid focuses on the English language test TOEIC, and...

GRE-Provider ETS Continues Tip Toe into EduTech Investments

Educational Testing Service (ETS), the world’s largest educational testing non-profit, dipped further into educational technology with its $2 million investment in an accelerator operated with LearnLaunch. ETS Accelerate will focus on startups addressing future job skills, as well as...

Big Brother in the Classroom? NY School District Adopts Facial-Recognition Technology, NYT Says

Karma_News Summary_facial recognition
The battle over facial-recognition software has entered the classroom. A New York school district began using the technology a few weeks ago to monitor the grounds at its eight schools, the New York Times reported. Lockport is the first known...

Tastytrade’s Tom Sosnoff: “We’ve chosen the non-traditional marketing direction: the good faith model. And it’s worked.”

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. Tom Sosnoff, Founder and Co-CEO of the online financial network tastytrade, says he holds out little hope for those media companies still trying to survive with a revenue stream based on advertising....

360Learning Raises $41 Million to Support Expansion in the UK, U.S.

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. 360Learning, an e-learning training platform for business, raised $41 million in a Series B investment to fund an aggressive push into the U.S. and U.K. Investors in the round included Bpifrance, Hi Inov -...

New Study Aims to Help Investors Decide Which Edtech Tools Have the Most Impact

Karma_News Analysis_Boundless Edtech Report
Far too often in the U.S., a person’s zip code determines their destiny. Children who grow up in poverty are likely to stay that way.  The numbers are staggering: nearly a quarter of American K-12 students live in poverty,...

Immersive Learning Technology Gains Traction with IBM’s AI Mandarin Projects

If you want to learn Mandarin, living in Beijing would be ideal.  The next best thing? A virtual reality classroom that teleports you to the city. IBM Research’s Cognitive and Immersive Systems Lab, known as the Mandarin Project, enables...

China Sees Surge of Edtech Investments With Focus on Artificial Intelligence

Karma_News Summary_China AI education
China’s push to become a world tech power, which has paid off with advances in telecommunications, batteries and robots, is yielding further results -- it’s taken a leadership position in A.I. powered education investments.  The country is among the...

Duke University Group Takes Investing Outside of the Classroom with Student-Led Impact Fund

Karma_Partner_Duke Impact Investing Group
This piece is brought to you in partnership with Duke Impact Investing Group. In 2017, two Duke University students saw an opportunity gap for peers interested in using business as a tool for change. At the time, no outlet...

Two Women at Rice University Are Shaking Up Academia with Entrepreneur Education

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. Despite the growing importance of the startup culture in keeping the US economy competitive, academia lags behind, preferring the tranquil process of turning out employees for corporations...

The Fight for Truth: Why Education Crisis Is a Bigger Threat Than Fake News

Karma_Column_Education crisis
At this point in American political history, many of us have become inured to misinformation and proliferation of fake news. Still, it was startling when the “West Wing Reads” email from the White House hit my mailbox at 12:16...

Google Wants to Teach Kids about Fake News as Criticism Mounts

Google, criticized for fake news on its websites and weak privacy controls, is hoping for social impact with a program that aims to teach schoolkids how to safely utilize the Internet.   The company, forced to close its Google+ social...

Intel Releases Gender Pay Gap Report as Startups Focusing on Diversity Rise

Karma_News Summary_Intel gender pay report
Intel released a detailed gender pay gap report, joining companies including Citigroup and Starbucks that are disclosing wage information in response to shareholders calling for workplace equality.  The news wasn’t encouraging regarding diversity: more than half of Intel’s top...
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