Kno acquired by Intel for pennies on the dollar

Dive Brief:

  • Intel acquired Kno last weekend for $15 million—pennies on the dollar, given that the startup raised almost $73.4 million in venture capital and debt, including $20 million from Intel Capital.
  • The ed tech startup was acquired primarily for its hardware-related intellectual property and employees, but the purchase also increases Intel's global digital library beyond 225,000 K-12 and higher ed titles.
  • Kno began as Kakai Inc. and lasted four years, during which its tablet flopped as Apple took over the market and its shift in focus to an app-based textbook platform failed to gain traction.

Dive Insight:

It's unfortunate to see Kno join the list of failed ed tech startups—particularly for the investors—but it's not entirely surprising. After the company switched its focus from a tablet to apps for textbooks, the deals it made with publishers reportedly limited the amount it took to 15% of gross revenue and it just couldn't manage to grow business. Perhaps GigaOM's Om Malik put it best, saying that the startup was ultimately trying to solve a problem that it wanted to solve for itself, not for students and publishers.

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Filed Under: Higher Ed K12 Technology Online Learning
Top image credit: Kno