Global online education powerhouse 2U has entered an agreement to acquire Cape Town based start-up GetSmarter for $103 million (R1.4b).

GetSmarter collaborates with leading universities around the world, such as the University of Cape Town, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to provide online courses to working professionals. 2U has a similar business model, where it partners with universities and colleges to offer distance learning solutions on a digital platform.

Since its inception, GetSmarter has served more than 50 000 students and boasts a portfolio which includes approximately 70 short courses in conjunction with its university partners. In a statement, CEO Sam Paddock said the deal will make the company stronger.  “They bring deep experience and access to capital that allows us to pursue stellar growth and standout student outcomes at scale.”

Similarly, 2U CEO Chip Paucek also expressed his optimism. “We also expect to accelerate our growth, extend our global footprint and provide a broader suite of services by matching up more students to the right programmes at the right time as they further their professional and personal development.”

Subject to various conditions, the acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017. GetSmarter will continue to operate independently as a wholly-owned subsidiary of 2U once the deal has been concluded.


Photography Unsplash

Article written by


We love this place! Cape Town Etc features news, reviews, entertainment and lifestyle in the Mother City.