HOT MONEY! German media conglomerate, Bertelsmann is set to invest approximately $230 million in HotChalk, a Campbell, CA-based company that has helped colleges build 33 online degree programs. Founded in 2004, HotChalk initially focused on creating a K-12 social learning platform—a precursor to Edmodo, one might say—where teachers can share content, assign homework and grades; at its peak it claimed 375,000 teacher-users. (Here’s a six-part interview with HotChalk’s CEO from 2008.) It has since pivoted away from this model.
The deal, rumored to be in effect since September, will make Bertelsmann the largest stockholder, according to a press release. HotChalk has previously raised $15 million across several rounds from investors including NBC News, McGraw-Hill Education, Peacock Equity Fund and Mohr Davidow Ventures.