Deals of the week: education, online tuition and FinTech in the spotlight

The past week has highlighted the growing appeal of the digital education market, which has been fairly dormant in recent years as providers await greater uptake in emerging nations. As more educational facilities begin to transfer to digital resources, demand for technological platforms and software capable of supporting peer reviews, grading, correction and online tutoring continues to grow. Industry sources estimate the online tutoring market is already worth $60 billion globally. It is therefore unsurprising that business transfer agents are enabling more exits for educational tech. Insight Venture Partners acquired cloud education provider iParadigms, while Chegg has bought online tutoring service InstaEdu. FinTech continues to expand its deal numbers, as Morningstar plans to buy finance management tool HelloWallet.

Venture firm purchases educational tool iParadigms

Venture capital firm Insight Venture Partners has bought cloud-based educational technology company iParadigms for $752 million. iParadigms develops smart tools that help to tackle plagiarism, verify student content and analyse student learning. The California-based company counts more than 24 million students and 1.6 million educators at 10,000 institutions worldwide using the service. The acquiring venture fund is making a big bet on the rapid expansion of educational software, especially in emerging markets such as China and India, where states are gradually financing technological upgrades at academic institutions. iParadigms’ flagship product is Turnitin, which is used by educators to check students’ papers for originality, enable web-based peer reviews and allow digital grading of work. The deal is expected provide the resources and support that will accelerate product investment plans and expand international reach.

Student hub Chegg purchasing online tuition platform InstaEdu

Chegg, the textbook rental service and popular student hub, is buying online tuition firm InstaEdu for $30 million. Chegg is looking to diversify its portfolio in the educational market as the textbook rental segment becomes more competitive. InstaEdu facilitates digital connectivity between students and online tutors on more than 2,500 subjects in a global online tutoring market that is beginning to enter the mainstream. In countries such as Singapore and Honk Kong it is already a functioning part of the educational curriculum as students look to extra tutoring hours.

FinTech offering HelloWallet bought by Morningstar

Chicago-based investment specialist Morningstar is purchasing FinTech service HelloWallet for a total of $52.5 million. Amidst a recent flurry of interest in financial-management platforms, the fund is looking to jump on the FinTech bandwagon. Morningstar is set to pay $39 million as it already invested $13.5 million in the platform. HelloWallet develops personal finance software that allows users to manage their finances, with the company making most of its revenue by selling its offerings to companies that offer it to their employees. Morningstar hopes to target the retirement market with the service.

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