2U, Inc. and edX to Join Industry-Redefining Combination
edX | July 01, 2021
2U, Inc., a global leader in education technology, and edX, a leading online learning platform, and education marketplace, announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement to form an industry-redefining partnership that will help power the digital transformation of higher education to expand access and affordability, and usher in a new era of online learning.
2U will pay $800 million in cash to buy almost all of edX's assets. 2U and edX plan to reach over 50 million learners worldwide, serve over 230 partners, and provide over 3,500 digital programs on the world's most comprehensive free-to-degree online education marketplace.
Proceeds from the transaction will go to a nonprofit dedicated to reimagining the future of learning for people of all ages, addressing educational inequalities, and advancing next-generation learning experiences and platforms under the leadership of Harvard and MIT. In addition, this group will create methods and collaborations to help narrow the learning gap, drawing on insights acquired at Harvard, MIT, and other universities.
The acquisition will combine the distinct strengths and complementary skills of two leading players in online education. 2U is the preferred digital transformation partner for more than 80 of the world's leading universities, and the company expects to reach $1 billion in annual revenue by the end of 2021, while edX has built one of the world's strongest online education brands and largest global communities of learners. Over the last decade, 2U and edX have established mission-driven organizations based on the idea that online education and greater access to the world's finest nonprofit universities can transform lives and affect future generations. The combined scale, reach, capabilities, marketing efficiency, and relationships of 2U and edX will open up new possibilities to reach and serve more learners, universities, and businesses across the globe.
To maintain and promote the edX purpose, 2U intends to run edX as a public benefit entity, a kind of purpose-driven organization that balances the interests of shareholders with those of other stakeholders. 2U has committed to continuing to fulfill the edX mission by, among other things, ensuring affordability through the continuation of a free track to audit courses; protecting the intellectual property rights of faculty and universities that contribute massive open online courses, and ensuring that participating colleges and universities can continue to participate under their existing agreements with edX.
About 2U, Inc.
Removing the back row in higher education is more than a metaphor for our goal. 2U, Inc. is a global leader in education technology and has been a valued partner and brand steward of great universities for more than a decade. More than 500 educational programs, including undergraduate and graduate degrees, professional certifications, boot camps, and GetSmarter short courses, are designed, delivered, and supported by us. 2U, in collaboration with our partners, has positively impacted the lives of over 300,000 students and lifelong learners. Visit 2U.com for additional information. #NoBackRow
edX is the education movement for students. We've brought together over 39 million students, the majority of the world's top-ranked universities, and industry-leading companies on one online learning platform that supports learners at every level, in collaboration with our founding partners Harvard and MIT. And we're not stopping there; we're constantly pursuing our goal of a world where every learner has access to education to live a fulfilling life, regardless of cost or location.