Kno acquired by Intel for pennies on the dollar
- 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.
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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