Pearson, the media group behind The Financial Times and publishing house Penguin, has increased its holding to TutorVista to a majority, controlling stake of 76%, for $127m. The deal values TutorVista at $213 million. Pearson acquired a minority stake in TutorVista in June 2009 and this transaction takes Pearson’s total equity investment in the company to approximately $139 million. TutorVista has two main businesses:

TutorVista.com: Started in 2005, it provides online tutoring to approximately 10,000 students per month, using Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol and online whiteboards to connect instructors in India with school and college students, principally in North America. It claims to have served over five million tutoring sessions, and 100,000 students, with two thousand teachers. TutorVista claims it gets six million visitors per month visiting its site.

What the acquisition means for TutorVista.com: TutorVista’s Online Tutoring will be integrated into all of Pearson’s digital products, and be sold to schools and higher education institutions globally.

Edurite: started in 2000, Edurite provides technology-enabled education solutions and services for school businesses in India. Edurite operates a network of 60 centres across southern India delivering English language coaching courses for university entrance exams and out-of-class tuition to K-12 school children for SAT, ACT, AP and other exams. It also provides curriculum design, teacher training, technology solutions and school administration services to schools serving approximately 5,000 students in India. Edurite also supplies content and ICT solutions to thousands of schools across India, and owns and manages nineteen schools.

What the acquisition means for Edurite: Pearson’s education portfolio includes brands like Longman, Penguin and Prentice Hall, used by over half the schools in the US, and, they claim, by 10,000 of the 20,000 primary schools in the UK. Pearson will use Edurite to distribute its education content to schools.

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TutorVista had raised over $33 MM in funding from Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Ventures, and from strategic investors – Manipal Education and Medical Group and Pearson. Pearson had invested in the company, alongwith the formation of a joint venture with Educomp.

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