upGrad | November 30, 2021
upGrad, Asia’s integrated higher edtech leader, has entered into an exclusive acquisition agreement with Global Study Partners (GSP), Australia's largest study abroad company, in a bid to strengthen its overseas education network. upGrad will invest USD 16 Million to buy 100% of GSP and commit a further USD 10 Million for future growth. GSP is slated to close its current financials at a GMV of over USD 10 million which will grow four-fold in the coming year.
Following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, 45.2% of prospective global students are now interested in studying their program virtually as an alternative, according to The Impact of COVID 19 on Study Abroad Survey. Canada’s ApplyBoard in the same segment got funded recently at a USD 4 billion valuation. Leveraging this behavioural change, upGrad’s acquisition of GSP strengthens its foray in Study Abroad, one of the fastest growing segments worldwide.
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Sydney, Global Study Partners (GSP) boasts of an extensive institution network of over 600, with a focus on countries including, Australia, the UK, Canada, and the US, which are some of the most popular Study Abroad destinations in the world. GSP is also armed with more than 1,300 recruitment partners, including education and migration agents, schools, test preparation centres, alumni associations etc.
“As an Integrated EdTech leader - we span the entire gamut of a learner's need from the age of 18-50 and in that, Study Abroad is a key growth initiative for us - not just out of India which is one of the two largest markets but also for our learners internationally. GSP coming into upGrad’s fold will be a needle mover for us to attain a headstart in being a global leader in this segment too.”
Ronnie Screwvala, Chairperson & Co-Founder, upGrad
Elaine Starkey, CEO and Founder, Global Study Partners, said “I couldn’t think of a more complementary business that is underpinned by shared principles and ethics “to empower learners throughout the world. Ronnie and Mayank are true visionaries with a deep understanding of this sector and truly get that 'it's all about the learner’s experience'. GSP partners' - institutions and recruitment partners - worldwide, will enjoy the benefits that the additional reach and capacity GSP can now deliver, and they can expect significant growth in quality student enrolments.”
Students opting for Higher Education abroad from India are increasing rapidly and expected to reach ~1.8 million by 2024, as per Redseer report. They would be spending USD 75-85 Bn overseas, as Online emerges as the dominant channel for availing these services.
“With 150K students every year, Australia is one of the biggest destination markets for Indian learners. With these two education giants in the key supplier and the demand markets combining forces, we are looking to build a revenue of USD 100Mn in study abroad business in the next 3 years,” Gaurav Kumar, President - Corporate Development and M&A, upGrad.
upGrad - started in 2015 is a pioneer in the online education revolution, focused on powering career success for a global workforce of over 1.3 billion. It is one of the few Integrated LifeLongLearning Tech Companies in the world - spanning the college learner to the working professional from the age group of 18-60 years and across Undergrad courses, Campus & Job Linked Programs, Studying Abroad, short form to executive programs to Degrees, Masters and Doctoral - with a learner base of over 2 million across 50 countries and over 300 University partners & a robust enterprise business with a client base of 1000 companies worldwide.
upGrad’s Global Learning Engine rests on four pillars - (a) its large repository of original & owned content and IP, (b) its own best-in-class proprietary tech platform, (c) its high touch human-led delivery service backed by coaches & mentors, and (d) an 85% course completion track record, backed by a further 80% career outcomes guaranteed performance. Already termed Asia’s higher EdTech leader it has offices in the UK, US, Middle East, India, Singapore & Vietnam, and presence in many more countries.
About Global Study Partners (GSP)
Global Study Partners (GSP) is a leading B2B global EdTech marketplace for international student enrolments that works with 600+ Universities and Higher Education Institutes across the globe. GSP empowers students around the world by providing access to the best educational choices when embarking on studying abroad. Founded in 2015, the firm is headquartered in Sydney, Australia and has placed international students from 22 different countries into key study destination markets including Australia, UK, Ireland, US and Canada. GSP is committed to transforming lives through education and building out a globally connected student community.
ReadSpeaker | November 22, 2021
ReadSpeaker, a text to speech platform for students, today announced a collaboration with PowerSchool, the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education. Integrating ReadSpeaker with PowerSchool’s Unified Classroom™ Schoology Learning brings tools of accessibility directly into the learning management system, providing students, faculty and administrators with key tools to support reading, writing and studying while also addressing accommodations mandated in Individual Educational Plans (IEPs).
ReadSpeaker promotes a Universal Design of Learning experience for ALL students and teachers. For administrators, the learning tool interoperability (LTI) is easily implemented with a key and secret, providing quick and easy access.
ReadSpeaker is available directly within Schoology Learning, bringing seamless audio solutions to the digital learning landscape, and allowing schools to quickly and easily integrate audio across all platforms and content. Audio tools are a proven aid in empowering educators to help students stay motivated at any grade level. By integrating ReadSpeaker’s text-to-speech technology into Schoology Learning’s comprehensive reading, writing and studying toolsets, students can become more autonomous learners.
“From day one, ReadSpeaker’s mission has been to provide top-of-the-line accessibility solutions, but we are especially excited about this opportunity as it broadens our reach within the K-12 education space. As longstanding leaders in bringing accessibility to the higher education market, we jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with the leading provider of K-12 education technology, PowerSchool. With the level of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel it is our duty to do all we can to support students of all ages and abilities as hybrid learning environments and alternative ways of learning continue to gain popularity.”
Matt Muldoon, President, ReadSpeaker NA
PowerSchool’s Partner Program is an exclusive collection of Independent Software Vendors (ISV partners) and Learning Application partners who are critical to our customers and the company’s mission to power the education ecosystem with unified technology that helps educators and students realize their potential, in their way. From the office to the classroom to the home, PowerSchool helps schools and districts efficiently manage state reporting and related compliance, special education, finance, human resources, talent, registration, attendance, funding, learning, instruction, grading, assessments and analytics in one unified platform.
ReadSpeaker is the most trusted, independent digital voice partner for global brands. With more than 20 years of industry experience, ReadSpeaker offers brands sophisticated text-to-speech solutions and expert hands-on assistance to create the most engaging bespoke voice interfaces. ReadSpeaker offers both SaaS and licensed solutions to support varying channels and devices, and consistently maintains brand trust through its commitment to data privacy. To date, the company – which provides more than 30 languages and 90 voices – has created more than 10,000 digital voice interfaces for brands around the world.
Texthelp | January 25, 2022
Texthelp, a global leader in literacy and accessibility technology, today announced the premium launch of OrbitNote, a web app that makes PDFs more accessible from right inside the document, including the ability to type, highlight, and leave voice memos on documents. OrbitNote will allow users to transform and interact with digital documents in a completely different way. Users will be able to create an accessible, dynamic, and collaborative space that works for everyone.
Today, Texthelp is also honoring International Day of Education, an international day of awareness to promote inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all. Texthelp is committed to helping users understand and be understood through the use of assistive technology tools and software.
This past year, Texthelp released data revealing that 90% of teachers had planned to use EdTech tools in the classroom this school year. With the rise in technology use, having access to tools that create an accessible experience for all users is highly valuable. Products like OrbitNote will promote collaboration, transparency, and communication among students and educators.
Key Benefits of OrbitNote:
Makes PDFs More Accessible and Actionable: OrbitNote ensures that students have access to the tools they need to succeed – such as text-to-speech, highlighting, and vocabulary support – across all class content. If a PDF is image-only or unreadable, OrbitNote has a built-in scanner that will find the text and read it aloud without having to leave the PDF.
Provides Multiple Ways to Demonstrate Knowledge and Give Feedback: OrbitNote allows students to express their understanding in multiple ways. Users can type or draw their thoughts on the page, or add shapes and images to their work. Users can also highlight the key points in a comprehension piece or when studying. In the classroom, both teachers and students can use their voices to share ideas and feedback.
Boosts Productivity, Connections, and Collaboration: Using OrbitNote allows for seamless student-teacher collaboration. For example, teachers are able to leave a quick voice note for students, providing feedback and identifying areas for improvement mid-project, rather than waiting for students to turn in the final piece. Students can use a range of tools to ask teachers for help and garner support before problems arise. Typical pen and paper projects can become digital spaces for working together, allowing collaboration between teachers and students, as well as group projects.
OrbitNote works with Google Classroom and Schoology. In the coming months, Texthelp will expand support for more LMSs like Canvas and Brightspace. OrbitNote is also compatible with Texthelp's Read&Write product, a literacy support tool, and EquatIO, a digital math tool. Users can try all of the features in OrbitNote for free for 30 days.
"We have seen education change drastically in the past two years. Many subjects and tasks that relied on pen and paper are now becoming digitized. I am excited for OrbitNote as it will help educators and students continue to collaborate in this new digital space. The tool will also be very helpful in regards to accessibility and eliminate barriers that often arise while using PDF files."
Martin McKay, CEO and Founder of Texthelp
Founded in 1996, the Texthelp Group is a global technology company. On a daily basis, it helps people all over the world to understand and to be understood. For the last three decades, it has led the way in creating innovative education and workplace technology. Texthelp believes in a world where difference, disability, or language are no longer barriers. It is focused on helping all people learn, understand, and communicate through the use of digital literacy and accessibility software. With over 45 million users worldwide, the Texthelp suite of products includes Read&Write, EquatiO®, OrbitNote, WriQ®, Fluency Tutor®, ReachDeck®, and SpeechStream®. These tools work alongside existing platforms such as Microsoft Office and G-suite. This allows for its products to be quickly integrated into any classroom or workplace with ease. Texthelp is backed by Five Arrows, the private equity arm of Rothschild Group.