6/20/13

Follett forms a $50 million venture fund

The Follett Knowledge Fund targets early-stage education and technology companies.

Kevin Woodward , Senior Editor

Book publisher and retailer Follett Corp. is setting up the $50 million Follett Knowledge Fund in partnership with Atrium Capital, a venture capital firm, to provide capital to early-stage education and technology companies, Follett announced.

Follett and Atrium will evaluate technologies that have the potential to improve and change the way educational content is delivered and consumed, Follett says. “The Knowledge Fund will enable us to identify and invest in early-stage technologies that will make educational materials more accessible and affordable to students and educators alike,” says Mary Lee Schneider, Follett president and CEO.

In April, Follett bought BetterKnow Inc., which distributes course materials via the web to college students and instructors.

Follett is not the only publisher to invest recently in technology for delivering content in electronic form. In January, Pearson PLC made an $89.5 million investment in Nook Media LLC, the digital content arm of bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc.

Follett Higher Education Group, the college textbook retail unit of Follett, is No. 71 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. Barnes & Noble is No. 27.

Topics:

atrium capital, Barnes & Noble Inc., books, e-book, e-commerce, Education, Follett, Follett Higher Education Group, knowledge fund, pearson plc, Publishing, retail chains, start-up, Technology, Top 500, Venture capital

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