Rethink Education


Rethink Education

May 16, 2012

Rethink Education: Rethink Education, from White Plains, NY, has been flying low for awhile. An investment fund devoted to education solutions, we've so far only glimpsed it maneuvering behind the scenes on several deals. It surfaced, for instance, in March when it participated in the Series A round for Education Elements.

Get ready to see more. Word on the street is that Rethink Education is launching a $50 million fund--with super experienced people. At the helm is Rick Segal, who three decades ago founded Seavest Inc., a leading private investment manage firm focused on real estate and private equity. But he's had an uncanny eye for edtech companies, having invested in and served on the boards of Wireless Generation (acquired by News Corp. 2010) and Schoolnet (sold to Pearson last year). His co-pilot, Matt Greenfield, founded the ethically-oriented hedge fund, Stonework Capital, and has dabbled by investing in 2tor, Better Lesson, Post University, and Comfit. He also helped co-found Rethink Autism, one of RT's portfolio companies.

Rethink Education joins a few others in the exclusively education-focused investor space, notably Newschools Venture Fund, Learn Capital. RT's current portfolio has some interesting deals, including Engrade, Smarterer, and Straighterline, revealing a broad interest across the education spectrum, covering K-12 content, higher-ed access, lifelong learning and credentialing, data information systems, and special needs. Our bet: watch for more Series A investments. This crew also could have the patience to wait five to seven years for an exit.

Judging from recent blog posts, the team's pretty optimistic that titans from other industries are wading into edtech--and looking for a big liquidity event. Writes Matt Greenfield, "I would not be at all surprised if, someday soon, Google or Facebook or Microsoft bought a young education company for over a billion dollars. Education is at the core of civilization, and every other human activity now revolves around it."

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