Cape Town startup concludes R1.4 billion deal with US edtech giant

US-based technology firm, 2U has concluded a $103 million (R1.4 billion) acquisition of GetSmarter, a South African startup that delivers short-term online certification courses to distance-learning students.

The deal, which is believed to be the biggest ever for a South African edtech company, was first announced in May, and further bolsters Cape Town’s position as a leading technology hub in the country.

2U partners with top colleges and universities to bring their degree programs and credit-bearing courses online.

“We are proud and excited to join the 2U family,” said Sam Paddock, CEO and co-founder of GetSmarter.

“We now have an even stronger base from which to realise our full potential globally, which will only further enhance confidence in the broader South African technology ecosystem.”

Since it was founded in 2008 by brothers Rob and Sam Paddock, GetSmarter has provided online adult education to over 50,000 students, with an average course completion rate of 88%, furthering the company’s vision for 2030 of improving the lives of one million people through better education.

2U’s investment will accelerate growth in the next few years, enabling GetSmarter to offer in-demand career opportunities to even more South Africans, the company said.

Read: University of Oxford launches online FinTech programme in SA

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Cape Town startup concludes R1.4 billion deal with US edtech giant