Newsela Raises $100 Million to Accelerate K-12 Schools’ Transition into Digital Textbooks

IBL News | New York

American EdTech companies raised a record-setting up $2.2 billion in 2020, an increase of 30% over 2019.

The latest VC fundraiser is Newsela, a startup taking on textbooks.

K-12 instructional content platform, Newsela announced it raised $100 million in Series D investment funding. It gives the company the unicorn status associated with a billion-dollar valuation.

The investment was led by new investor Franklin Templeton and existing investor TCV, with participation by Owl Ventures, Tao Capital Partners, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Waycross Ventures.

Newsela was founded in 2013 in New York City as a SaaS platform to shift from legacy paper-based materials and textbooks to digitally delivered content in K-12 schools across the country.

Now it claims 37 million registered students and 2.5 million registered teachers in 90% of all U.S. schools. Its 2020 annual recurring revenue grew 81% over 2019, with new bookings surging 115%.

Matthew Gross, Founder & CEO of Newsela, said: “Education leaders are breaking free from the limits of an antiquated marketplace; School administrators are taking this opportunity to future-proof their schools, and they’re not looking back.”

Newsela has a catalog of 14,000 standards-aligned texts across 20+ genres, curated from 175 publishers, including the Associated Press, National Geographic, The New York Times, Scientific AmericanUSA Today, Atlanta Black Star, Human Rights Watch, and Encyclopedia Britannica.

All content is then made ready for classroom instruction by reproducing every text at multiple reading levels, adding assessments, lesson ideas, and professional development. Educators can remix, modify and bundle resources into comprehensive, engaging lessons, or choose from a wealth of pre-built collections.