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Pearson Acquires 100% Stake In TutorVista; Appoints Srikanth B Iyer As CEO

Pearson, the media group behind The Financial Times and publishing house Penguin, has acquired the remaining 20% equity in TutorVista
, reports The Economic Times.

While the financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed, the report states that Pearson has appointed Srikanth B Iyer as the new CEO of TutorVista and founders Krishnan Ganesh and Meera Ganesh have exited the company. Srikanth B Iyer was previously the chief operating officer of Pearson Education Services.

Prior to this development, Pearson had invested around $139.5 million in Tutorvista. This includes a $127 million investment in January 2011, through which the company had secured a controlling stake of 76% and a $12.5 million investment in June 2009.  A Livemint reports suggests that the company had increased its stake in Tutorvista to 80% in 2011, although the details of this transaction was not disclosed.

Started in 2005, TutorVista provides online tutoring to students, using Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol and online whiteboards to connect instructors in India with school and college students, principally in North America.

The company had claimed to provide tutoring to around 10,000 students per month as of January 2011 and had claimed to have served over five million tutoring sessions to 100,000 students, with two thousand teachers. It also claims to have registered six million monthly visitors to its site as of January 2011.

Besides this, Tutorvista also runs Edurite (now Pearson Education Services) which the company had acquired in 2007, and provides technology-enabled education solutions and services for school businesses in India.

Other developments in Education sector

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Learnpedia, a Hyderabad based digital content startup, had secured an undisclosed sum of funding from Ixora Ventures and a consortium of angel investors. Learnpedia offers a range of study material for JEE (an entrance exam for admission in the Indian Institute of Technology, among others), known as JEE Studymate, in the form of DVDs, micro SD cards, for any android based tablets.

Bangalore-based code learning platform Codelearn had raised $150,000 funding from the French angel investment firm Kima Ventures. Kima Ventures took a minority stake in the company in return.

In January 2013, Authorgen, a subsidiary of Educomp Solutions Ltd, had raised Rs 22 crore from Private Equity firm Kaizen and Bertelsmann, a German media company. Authorgen operates WizIQ.com, a web based platform for education services providers that enables them to create virtual Classroom and Convert document to flash. In the same month, EduRaft Pvt Ltd, which runs Eduraft.com  raised $61,000 (Rs 33 lakh) in angel funding from an alumni group from IIM-Kozhikode and Anna University, Chennai.

Indiagames founder Vishal Gondal and Walt Disney India chief Ronnie Screwvala had invested an undisclosed amount in Catalog Educational Services Pvt Ltd. run MeraCareerGuide.com. Meracareerguide is an online career counselling platform for students. Students can seek counselling from industry experts and career counselors through the site.

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