What Does Intel Capital’s Asset Sale Mean For Its Education Accelerator?


What Does Intel Capital’s Asset Sale Mean For Its Education Accelerator?

By Tony Wan     Mar 15, 2016

What Does Intel Capital’s Asset Sale Mean For Its Education Accelerator?

Bloomberg reported on Mar. 11 that Intel has been working with UBS Group to find buyers for portions of its venture unit, Intel Capital, in a sale that could be worth as much as $1 billion. Intel has kept mum on which parts of its current portfolio, which includes around 430 companies, are up for grabs.

The billion-dollar figure is a hefty sum, but it’s worth noting that Intel Capital invested $514 million in 143 companies last year alone. Since 1991, it has pumped $11.6 billion into more than 1,440 companies.

Intel Capital currently lists a handful of education companies in its portfolio, including:

  • Fuhu, which makes a kid-friendly tablet and develops learning apps
  • Kaltura, an online video capture platform used in higher-ed institutions
  • Myriad Labs, developer of PocketLab, a wireless sensor designed for science experiments
  • Schoology, a learning management system provider
  • Smart Technologies, best known for its interactive whiteboards
  • Voxer, a communication app popular among educators
  • WriteReader, a digital platform for children to publish books and practice reading

An Intel spokesperson declined to comment on the status of these education investments but referred us to a Feb. 4 blog post by Wendell Brooks, President of Intel Capital. He wrote: “We plan to continue investing at a robust $300-$500 million annual pace, focused across the full spectrum of technologies where Intel excels.”

Education—or, at least finding early-stage edtech startups—remains part of the company’s overall investment strategy. The Intel Education Accelerator, launched in April 2015 with support from Intel Capital, is currently accepting applications for its second cohort. A source close to the matter says this plan has not changed.

Intel Capital also had a couple edtech exits. It invested $20 million in Kno, a digital textbook and tablet effort that, coincidentally, Intel ended up acquiring for $15 million. (Kno had raised more than $73 million.) Intel Capital also led a $13.5 million round in Tutor.com, an online tutoring service now owned by IAC.

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