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Newsela, the replacement for textbooks, raises $100M and becomes a unicorn

Newsela, a SaaS platform for K-12 instructional material backed by the likes of TCV, Kleiner Perkins, Reach Capital, and Owl Ventures, announced today that it has raised $100 million in a Series D round. The financing was led by new investor Franklin Templeton, and brings Newsela’s valuation to $1 billion. The new round is larger than the aggregate of Newsela’s prior capital raised to-date.
“Hitting $1 billion [in valuation] doesn’t change a thing,” Newsela CEO Matthew Gross told TechCrunch. But the startup is joining Quizlet, Applyboard, and CourseHero as companies within the sector that have hit the unicorn mark as remote education continues to gain traction.
Newsela has created a platform that strings together a number of different third-party content, such as primary source documents or the latest National Geographic articles. Gross defines it as “material that isn’t purpose-built for education, [but] purpose-built for being interesting and informative.” If Newsela is doing its job right, the content can replace textbooks within a classroom altogether, while helping teachers give fresh, personalized material.
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