Veteran EdTech Company Desire2Learn Raises $80 million

Desire2Learn is an online learning platform that dabbles in a number of different edtech solutions. With its classroom management utility, the company offers educators an alternative to the current top dog, Blackboard. There’s an ePortfolio product that students can use to collect all manners of educational documents throughout their time at school, such as graphics, audio files, presentations and more. On an administrative level, Desire2Learn offers an analytics product which allows schools to track and analyze student achievement. There seems to be something for everyone involved in education, and investors are paying attention to Desire2Learn’s many talents.

Today the Canada-based company announced that it had raised $80 million from New Enterprise Associates and OMERS Ventures.

(A quick note here: Our readers may be aware that here on Technapex, we cover plenty of news about funding for edtech companies and entrepreneurs. To my knowledge, I don’t believe we’ve ever covered any funding that comes close to the titanic $80 million that Desire2Learn just landed. This is big money.)

Of course, part of the reason for the massive funding is the company’s proven veteran status. Desire2Learn has been in business since 1999, so at least other companies have some time before earning the kind of investor attention that the company’s president and CEO John Baker is enjoying right now. “The demand for online learning, mobile [learning], analytics and education globally has never been greater than it is today,” he said.

After more than a decade of independent funding, Baker realized it was time to start attracting big name backers. With K-12 edtech investments surpassing higher education funding, the time seemed right for this company to step up its game.

Are you an educator who uses any Desire2Learn products? How do you put them to good use?