Course-sharing company Acadeum secures $11.9 million in latest round of funding

Listen to the article 4 min. This audio is automatically generated. Please let us know if you have any feedback. Dive Brief: Acadeum, a company that helps colleges share online courses, has raised $11.9 million in its latest funding round, it announced Wednesday. Green Street Impact Partners led the Series B round along with ECMC Group and Pearson Ventures. Acadeum plans to use some of the hiring funds to promote the company’s course-sharing platform. According to Crunchbase, which tracks investments, the ed tech company has raised nearly $24 million since its inception in 2016. Acadeum presents its services as a way of keeping students on the path to graduation and giving them access to online courses not offered by their own institutions. Insight into the dive:

Acadeum now serves more than 460 higher education customers, including large public institutions like Texas A&M University and small private nonprofits like Benedict College in South Carolina. Universities can form groups or consortia on the Acadeum platform, allowing them to share online courses with other students’ students.

Some consortia form based on their home state, such as the Digital Higher Education Consortium of Texas or DigiTex. This consortium existed before Acadeum, but now uses the company’s platform to exchange courses that its students need to complete their studies.

Others are based on the type of institution. These include the HBCU-MSI Course-sharing Consortium, formed last year to encourage on-time graduation for students attending traditionally black colleges and institutions that serve minorities.

Home universities where students are enrolled pay an annual fee for access to Acadeum. They also pay the educational institution the price of each course their students take. Students pay their home university directly, as they would normally do for their courses.

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Academic institutions, on the other hand, pay a similar annual fee plus a processing fee for each transaction they bill their home universities for. Institutions that are both home and teaching colleges pay both types of annual fees.

“The platform enables colleges with vacant departments to fill vacancies,” said David Daniels, President and CEO of Acadeum. It also helps colleges whose students can’t take the courses they need to graduate at their home colleges, Daniels said. For example, some requirements are met so quickly that students have to wait another semester or year to meet them.

“Given the inventory we have in our market today, shortages could be completely eliminated,” Daniels said.

Acadeum also offers additional services, such as determining course equivalents between two universities.

Green Street Impact Partners is interested in investing in Acadeum because the company is trying to solve tough issues in higher education, said Amy Bevilacqua, managing partner at the private equity firm. She referred to the approximately 40 million Americans who left college without a degree.

Bevilacqua also argued that Acadeum has several opportunities to expand its reach, including by expanding access to dual enrollment for high school students and expanding internationally.

“Our job is to find companies that can scale both financially and in terms of the impact they make,” said Bevilacqua. “When we find those two things, we’re excited.”