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Macmillan Digital Education Invests in Brazilian EdTech Start-ups Veduca and Easyaula

February 7, 2013

LONDON, February 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –

Macmillan Digital Education [http://www.digital-education.com ] has made a significant
move into the Brazilian EdTech market with investments in two Brazil-based start-ups
targeting the adult education sector – Veduca and Easyaula. These investments bolster
Digital Education’s local presence as a serious “go-to” investor for EdTech entrepreneurs
in the Latin American region.

        - Veduca [http://www.veduca.com.br ] (veduca.com.br) is an online video
          platform that aggregates and curates publicly available educational content from the
          world's top universities and annotates this content with meta tags and Portuguese
          subtitles to make it searchable based on key words; thus making it easily accessible
          to the Brazilian population.
        - Easyaula [http://www.easyaula.com.br ] (easyaula.com.br) is an online
          educational marketplace that makes it easy for people to learn anything from anyone.
          This online marketplace taps into existing communities and networks to provide
          offline classes to aspirational adults, focusing on extra-curriculum and mainly
          professional subject areas.

As an active early-stage investor in the sector, Macmillan Digital Education targets
businesses which complement its ecosystem of services in the online education space and
develops e-learning products and services to empower students on their lifelong learning
journey.

Commenting on the investments, Managing Director of Macmillan Digital Education,
Matthias Ick, said today, “This is a major step in our intention to provide a catalyst for
the next phase of our ambitious plans in Brazil and the wider region. Together with Veduca
and Easyaula, we will support and enhance the development of technology-driven education
in Brazil. Both brands will play an important role in helping us reach our goal to support
people in their life-long learning journey.”

Veduca democratises access to top-quality education in Brazil by offering free video
content from lectures from a wide range of subjects from some of the world’s top
universities, including MIT, Harvard, Yale & Princeton. Shown in their original English
language format, subtitled in Portuguese, students can follow university lectures on a
wide variety of subjects. Registering gives the user the ability to leave comments, rate
lectures, and create a favourites’ playlist. The service also boasts collaborative
subtitling – whereby any user can help to translate the content to Portuguese. Intelligent
content curation via meta-tag searching of the course content has been the key to Veduca’s
early success and early reputation as a market leader in Brazil.

Veduca founder and CEO Carlos Souza said today: “We’re proud to join Macmillan Digital
Education and be a part of continuing Macmillan’s tradition of delivering the highest
quality learning experience in Brazil.”

Easyaula believes that learning is a continuous lifelong journey, and that the current
education system does not give students all the tools they need in order to learn the
skills they must use in our ever-changing world. Easyaula’s purpose is to transform the
way people find, consume and teach educational content through a platform that organizes
informal learning and improves traditional learning by connecting teachers and students
directly, allowing students to learn the subjects they need to excel in their professional
and personal lives while creating highly paid, successful professors. The platform will be
further developed to provide a broad range of high quality classes and a range of learning
analytics via an online platform.

Diego Alvarez, CEO and founder of Easyaula, said today, “It is a great privilege to
partner with a company which shares our long term vision and belief in the future of adult
education in Brazil.”

Macmillan has a long and rich history of commitment to the teaching of English at all
levels and has been active in Brazil since 1994. It gives special attention to producing
teaching materials that reflect the cultural conditions and country specific curriculum,
providing teachers, students and educational institutions a wide range of high-quality
tailor-made materials in print and electronic format. The rapid improvement of the
nation’s English language teaching is a priority for both government and industry as
Brazil seeks to benefit from the economic and cultural benefits that will be afforded to
it by for the forthcoming 2016 Olympic Games.

Macmillan Digital Education’s investments are part of a broader initiative to
investment in start-up businesses within Macmillan’s Science & Education division. Under
its CEO Annette Thomas’s direction, the division has invested in three technology-led
start-up businesses over the past two years: Macmillan Digital Education, which invests
into and builds consumer-focused educational services, Digital Science, which specialises
in providing software solutions for scientists and Macmillan New Ventures, which discovers
and develops innovative and proven technologies for educational development.

Macmillan’s more established businesses – Macmillan Education, Macmillan Palgrave,
Nature Publishing Group and Macmillan Higher Education – have all built strong brands and
an enviable track record for editorial excellence by taking a content-led, technology
enabled approach. It is the fusion of the new disruptive technology start-up businesses
with the editorially-rich established players that enables Macmillan to evolve its overall
business and fuel quicker access to new markets and new opportunities.

Notes to Editors:

Investment History:

Veduca has already been supported by VC firms 500Startups and Mountain do Brasil.

500Startups [C:\Users\lisa.hulme\Documents\500.co ] is an investment fund and
accelerator headquartered in Silicon Valley, USA. With an active network of 200 mentors it
provides early stage companies with funding, mentoring and support with access to its
accelerator program and unique events. Investments in Brazil and Latin America are led by
Yang Bedy.

Mountain do Brasil SCA is a Luxembourg based seed and early-stage investment company
with focus on high-growth Brazilian, web-centric ventures. The company invests in as well
as offers full support for ambitious Brazilian entrepreneurs from its offices in São
Paulo, Brazil. Mountain do Brasil was founded by Brazilian and European entrepreneurs and
investment specialists with hands-on knowledge in building businesses, a wealth of
experience in seed and angel investing as well as in internationalising high-growth web
businesses. http://www.mountaindobrasil.com.br.

Easyaula received coaching and hands-on support from mentors from the prestigious
21212 Digital Accelerator Program. The mentorship-driven seed stage accelerator program is
located in Rio de Janeiro, and New York. Its four to six month long program is
concentrated on building companies focused on the exploding digital market in Brazil.
Admission to 21212 is highly competitive – hundreds of companies from all over Brazil
apply. Each admitted company receives seed funding, shared office space, hands-on
mentoring and the chance to pitch to the world’s best angel investors and venture
capitalists.

About Digital Education: Launched in January 2012 by one of the world’s leading
educational publishers, Macmillan Digital Education captures opportunities in the consumer
online education markets. As a corporate venture capital investor and incubator, it is
technology and service driven to make learning more effective and fun whilst embracing a
user- centric business understanding.

http://www.digital-education.com

About Macmillan Science & Education: As part one of the largest and best known
international publishing groups in the world, the new global division of Macmillan Science
and Education is characterised by seven high-quality academic, scholarly and educational
businesses. The division operates in more than 70 countries around the world, supporting
scientists, professors, teachers, journalists, editors, writers and entrepreneurs every
step of way, to empower learning and discovery. For more information, please visit:

http://www.digital-education.com

SOURCE Macmillan Digital Education


Source: PR Newswire