Newsela, a leading K-12 instructional content platform, has raised $100 million in a Series D funding round led by new investor Franklin Templeton and existing investor TCV.
Others like Owl Ventures, Tao Capital Partners, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Waycross Ventures also participated in the round.
The new funding brings Newsela’s valuation to $1 billion, making it become the latest unicorn in the education technology space.
Founded in 2013, Newsela takes authentic, real-world content from trusted sources and makes it instruction ready for K-12 classrooms. Each text is published at five reading levels, so content is accessible to every learner. Today, the company has over 37 million registered students and 2.5 million registered teachers on its platform, and is used by 90% of schools in the US. Its content is personalized to student interests, accessible to everyone, aligned to instructional standards, and attached to activities and reporting that hold teachers accountable for instruction and students accountable for their work.
Newsela’s content library includes more than 14,000 texts, with 10 new texts published every day, across over 20 genres, licensed from over 175 publishers that include major news organizations (including Bloomberg, The Economist and Washington Post), museums (like the Exploratorium in San Francisco) and non profits, such as The Marshall Project, Human Rights Watch and the White House Historical Association). With these texts, the platform enables educators to go deep on any subject they choose.
Newsela claimed its annual recurring revenue has grown by 81%, with new bookings surging 115% over the pandemic.
Commenting on the development, Matthew Gross, Founder and CEO of Newsela, said,
“This is a continuation of the rapidly accelerating growth we’ve been experiencing for years. Education leaders are breaking free from the limits of an antiquated marketplace that locks schools into a static, unengaging curriculum while the world continues to change around us. School administrators are taking this opportunity to future-proof their schools and they’re not looking back.”
The company’s founder said there will be more than 11 million students using its licensing by the end of 2021.
Chris Anderson, Research Analyst and Portfolio Manager at Franklin Templeton, said,
“The demands of remote learning amplified pre-existing weaknesses in how K-12 instructional content is evaluated, procured, and delivered. The widespread shift of traditional classrooms to digital experiences by the pandemic has greatly accelerated the transition from paper-based materials to SaaS solutions already underway.”
Newsela plans to use the fresh capital to build and acquire features and content that help teachers plan and execute more effective lessons, advance the digitization of K-12 classrooms, and accelerate its rapidly expanding customer base.
The New York-based company has now raised over $172 million in venture capital. The company had last raised $50 million in its Series C funding round in March 2019. Newsela is backed by the likes of TCV, Kleiner Perkins, Reach Capital, and Owl Ventures.