December 19, 2014

Google Capital Invests $40 Million in K-12 Ed Tech Company

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From The NY Times:

Roughly one year into its existence, Google Capital is wasting no time in putting its money to work.

Renaissance Learning, an education technology company [based in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin], plans to announce on Wednesday that it has received a $40 million investment from the Google fund in exchange for a minority stake. The deal values Renaissance at $1 billion.

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Google Capital is showing an interest in education. Renaissance Learning harnesses cloud computing to help teachers develop their lesson plans for students, including for reading and math. The company has been owned since 2011 by the British private equity firm Permira, which took over under convoluted circumstances.

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From Permira

“All over the world, technology has opened new doors for students to learn both in the classroom and at home. For many educators, the question is not whether to embrace new technology, but how to embrace technology in a way that makes teachers’ lives easier and meaningfully boosts student achievement,” said Gene Frantz of Google Capital. “Renaissance Learning is at the forefront of this educational movement, and their ability to use data to support effective teaching and drive student growth is unparalleled.”

Through one of the world’s largest anonymized data sets, Renaissance helps educators plot students along a research-validated learning path so that students can make progress to the height of their potential. Nearly 20 million students and teachers use Renaissance cloud-based offerings in schools across the world. Within the last year alone, Renaissance programs supported the reading of more than 335 million books, the mastery of 30 million math concepts, and the administration of over 45 million STAR computer-adaptive tests – more than any other interim assessment.

Last year Renaissance Learning acquired Subtext, a digital reading company.

See Also: Google Formally Launched Google Capital Today. Here’s the Blog Post (via Official Google Blog)

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.