Bertelsmann is making another investment in its strategic growth business of education. The international media, services, and education company is significantly increasing its direct shareholding in Synergis Education, a university services provider in the United States, in a new round of financing. Since 2012, Bertelsmann has invested in Synergis Education several times – first via the University Ventures Fund I initiated by Bertelsmann and later directly. The parties have agreed not to disclose the size of the funding round.
Thomas Rabe, Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann, said: “Our education business is steadily taking shape. We entered the e-learning sector last October with the acquisition of the online education provider Relias Learning. In February of this year, we took the first few steps towards building an international network of universities. By investing in Synergis, we are now creating the nucleus of our third field of activity in education: services. This means that we now have activities that benefit from megatrends like the growing demand for education and digitization, in all of the education segments that are relevant for us. In the years ahead, we will expand our education business into a third pillar of income for Bertelsmann alongside media and services.”
Just three years after it was founded, Synergis Education already has eight college and university partners with a total of over sixty degree programs on its client roster. Among other things, the company based in Mesa, Arizona supports U.S. universities in setting up online degree programs, e.g. in transferring curricula to the digital domain and handling responsibility for marketing. The market for educational services that Synergis Education operates in is now worth more than a billion dollars in the U.S. alone and is growing by up to 20 percent a year.
Bertelsmann is focusing its activities in the education sector on three segments: e-learning, universities in the Health and Human Sciences, and services. In the past six months, Bertelsmann has significantly expanded its activities in all three fields. In addition to acquiring the online education provider Relias Learning in October 2014, in February this year the Group invested in Alliant International University in the U.S., thereby taking the first steps to establishing an international university network. Bertelsmann also continues to systematically invest in other innovative and fast-growing companies in the education sector via the University Ventures I and II funds.
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the service providers Arvato and Be Printers, the music rights company BMG and the e-learning provider Relias Learning. The company has more than 112,000 employees and generated revenues of €16.7 billion in financial year 2014. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes the creation of first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world.