Valence unveils training program to help build pipeline of Black execs

Diversity has been linked with equity and inclusion because diversity is just one part of the equation when it comes to hiring Black employees. How do the companies they work for make people feel welcome and included, rather than isolated? How do Black employees find their way into management, up the corporate ladder to the […]

The Duolingo EC-1

Education may well be the most important activity we conduct as a society — and it may also be the hardest space to build a startup in. Selling to school districts and universities is notoriously difficult, but enticing consumers is even harder. Learning takes focus, patience, tenacity and resources, and most consumers would prefer to […]

How a bot-fighting test turned into edtech’s most iconic brand, Duolingo

Luis von Ahn, an entrepreneur who has dedicated his career to scaling free education, has probably annoyed you more than once. In fact, you’ve likely been annoyed by his work dozens and maybe hundreds of times over the years. A decade before he co-founded the whimsical and language-learning app Duolingo, one of the most popular […]

The product-led growth behind edtech’s most downloaded app

Duolingo CEO and co-founder Luis von Ahn was tired of the gray and dreary design aesthetic edtech companies used to emulate universities. Instead, he and the company’s early team sought inspiration from games like Angry Birds and Clash Royale, looking to build a class that screamed more cartoon anarchy than lecture hall. From that frenetic […]

Lambda School lays off 65 employees amid restructuring

Nearly a year after its last layoff, online coding bootcamp Lambda School just announced more cuts amid a broader restructuring. In a blog post, CEO and founder Austen Allred said that the startup, which raised a $74 million Series C in August, is laying off 65 employees.  The roles that were cut span senior product, […]

Erase All Kittens raises $1M seed round for Mario-style game which teaches girls to code

Erase All Kittens (EAK) is an edtech startup that created a “Mario-style” web-based game designed for kids aged 8-12. However, the game has a twist: it places an emphasis on inspiring girls to code (since, let’s face it, most coding tools are created by men). After reaching 160,000 players in more than 100 countries, it’s […]

OpenClassrooms raises $80 million for its online education platform

French startup OpenClassrooms has raised an $80 million Series C funding round led by Lumos Capital Group. The company operates an online education platform in French and English. Users can choose among 54 training programs and get a diploma at the end of the program — some of those programs lead to French-state-recognized bachelor and […]

Language learning startup Toucan raises $4.5M

Toucan, a startup that helps users learn a new language while they browse the web, is announcing that it has raised an additional $4.5 million in seed funding. As I wrote last fall, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based startup has built a Chrome extension that scans the text of whatever website you’re reading and translates select […]

What the MasterClass effect means for edtech

MasterClass, which sells a subscription to celebrity-taught classes, sits on the cusp of entertainment and education. It offers virtual, yet aspirational learning: an online tennis class with Serena Williams, a cooking session with Gordon Ramsay. While there’s the off chance that an instructor might actually talk to you — it has happened before — the […]

MasterClass co-founder’s Outlier.org raises $30M for affordable, virtual college courses

Outlier.org — a startup offering intro-level college courses online at a relatively affordable price — is announcing that it has raised $30 million in Series B funding. The startup was founded by CEO Aaron Rasmussen, previously co-founder at MasterClass (which Axios reports is raising new funding at a $2.5 billion valuation). Like Rasmussen’s old company, […]