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2U finalises R1,4bn GetSmarter deal

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Boosting Cape Town’s position as a technology hub, US-based 2U has concluded its $103-million (R1,4-billion) acquisition of online education company GetSmarter.

The deal is believed to be the biggest ever for a South African edtech company.

Together 2U and GetSmarter are positioned as leaders in the $1,9-trillion global higher education market which is expected to grow by about 8% in 2017.
“We are proud and excited to join the 2U family,” says Sam Paddock, CEO and co-founder of GetSmarter. “We now have an even stronger base from which to realise our full potential globally which will only further enhance confidence in the broader South African technology ecosystem.”

“We are thrilled to join forces with GetSmarter which will accelerate 2U’s growth, extend our global footprint and provide a dynamic suite of short course offerings that meet the needs of students from more than 150 countries around the world,” says Christopher “Chip” Paucek, CEO and co-founder of 2U.

Since it was founded in 2008 by brothers Rob and Sam Paddock, GetSmarter has provided online adult education to over 50 000 students, with an average course completion rate of 88%, furthering the company’s vision for 2030 of improving the lives of one million people through better education. Over the last nine years, GetSmarter also has provided employment and reliable wages to hundreds of South Africans. 2U’s investment will accelerate growth in the next few years, enabling GetSmarter to offer in demand career opportunities to even more South Africans.