2U Acquires GetSmarter for $103 Million to Add Short-Course Offerings

SMARTER ACQUISITIONS?: 2U, the Lanham, M.D.-based company that partners with colleges to offer accredited, online, graduate-level higher-ed programs, announced it will be acquiring GetSmarter, a platform which universities use to build short online courses, for an all-cash transaction of about $103 million. Another $20 million in cash may be given to GetSmarter’s equity holders, depending on fulfillment of financial milestones. The deal is slated to close in the third quarter of 2017.

According to the announcement, GetSmarter made $17 million in revenue for 2016. The company, with offices in Cape Town and London, claims to have served more than 50,000 students with average completion rates of 88 percent. Among the “expected strategic benefits of this transaction” is the ability for 2U to provide short courses for students who are not looking to earn degrees. That, in turn, will likely expand its market for learners.

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