The Belgian Mediahuis has invested 40 million euros in the online university book platform Perlego
In an interview with Belgian weekly Knack, Perlego co-founder and CEO Gauthier Van Malderen casually mentioned that the company had recently received new funding including a €40 million investment from the company. publishing of newspapers and audiovisual media Mediahuis, providing a valuation of approximately 250 million euros. .
While Mediahuis denies the figure, the investment falls under the thesis of the company’s venture capital arm, edtech, and it should be noted that Thomas Leysen, who owns major shares and is the chairman of MediaHuis, is on Perlego’s cap table since participating in a Series A round in November 2019.
In 2020, the big textbook company generated $7.85 billion in revenue in the United States alone. Having experienced the crushing financial reality of the cost of the textbooks themselves and witnessing firsthand the efforts of students to meet course requirements; the not-so-legal process of photocopying, or second-, third-, or even fourth-hand book purchases, Perlego co-founders Van Malderen and Matt Davis set out to build a better mousetrap.
Just as Spotify set out to achieve the unachievable in the music industry, shifting its decades-old practices to a new model, Perlego is also trying to do the same in the academic publishing industry. Through a monthly or annual subscription, Perlego users have access to some 800,000 titles on over 900 different topics and subtopics from over 6,000 publishers.
Like many edtech companies, the pandemic has spurred Perlego’s growth at a breakneck pace, with Van Maldren reporting to the Evening Standard that in the 12 months since March 2020, subscriber numbers soared 1222% . Demonstrating this strong growth, the company recently famous the addition of its 100th member to the team
Previous Perlego investors include Alex Chesterman, founder of Dedicated VC, Zoopla and Cazoo, Simon Franks, co-founder of LoveFilm, Charlie Songhurst and Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox’s Founders Factory.