November 11, 2013
Intel Increases Its Digital Content Library With Kno Acquisition
Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Intel, with an announcement posted on the blog of John Galvin, vice president of the sales and marketing group, has greatly increased its digital content library with the purchase of 2009 digital education startup Kno.With a focus on educational software and apps for digitized textbooks, Kno offers in excess of 200,000 interactive textbooks for students in K-12 education as well as those in higher education. As a result of the acquisition, Galvin notes Intel’s “global digital content library [now has] more than 225,000 higher education and K-12 titles through existing partnerships with 75 educational publishers.”
TechCrunch, which has been credited as being the first outfit to report the acquisition, claims the entire Kno team will be joining Intel. Well, all but one. Co-founder and CEO of Kno, Osman Rashid will be stepping out as he and Galvin were unable to form a consensus on the future direction for Kno.
According to Galvin, bringing Kno into the Intel family brings them a new and important resource for the Intel Education mission supporting rapid technology adoption in the classroom.
In his interview with Tech Crunch, Galvin showed confidence in the new direction the company was heading and spoke candidly about Osman’s decision not to join the rest of his executive team at Intel. “That was something Osman and I talked about early in the process,” he said. “But where I want to take [Kno] and where Osman wanted to take it were two different things. His direction was to continue with a North American focus and I want to go international, and for us to go international, that’s about integrating with Intel’s sales teams, working on bringing this to new markets.”
Galvin’s desire to take the digitized textbook to the global level is based on work the two companies have already been engaged in together. Both Kno and Intel have previously partnered in China on textbook digitizing initiatives. And with Intel being one of Kno’s largest investors in its 2011 funding round, the acquisition seems a natural fit.
“It became more attractive to me to have them be a part of the portfolio rather than just a partner,” Galvin continued in his TechCrunch interview, citing the company’s ingestion engine as a particularly useful tool for delving into the publishing market.
Also attractive to Galvin was Kno’s base infrastructure which Galvin believes will work well with Intel’s latest investments into the areas of Artificial Intelligence and natural language processing. “Kno is a very nice e-learning platform, and perhaps eventually also a natural language support platform, with an analytics platform,” Galvin stated. “The capabilities are there. We can perhaps push them into areas they weren’t ready to go in on their own.”
While the terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed, VentureBeat claims that Kno’s ability to raise over $73 million in venture capital means Intel, even as an early investor, probably didn’t do this one on the cheap.