A startup founded by three former Penn students has found a new home.
On March 15, CEO of Lore and former University of Pennsylvania student Joseph Cohen announced on the company blog that e-learning platform Lore has been acquired by Noodle.org, a startup founded by John Katzman, who is also a co-founder of The Princeton Review. While the companies are not disclosing the details of the acquisition, Cohen says that they have been talking to Noodle for the past few months about the acquisition.
Lore, formerly known as Coursekit, is a free online learning tool that serves a similar function as Blackboard. It stresses the sociability and interactivity of the platform and was developed by three Penn students — Cohen, Dan Getelman and Jim Grandpre — three years ago. In 2011, the trio left Penn to concentrate on the company full-time. Since then, the company has raised about $6 million from investors, and Lore is used by professors on more than 600 campuses.
Both Lore and Noodle focus on education-related tools, with Noodle offering a free search engine service specifically for educational information, such as study abroad and guidance counseling options.
“[Lore’s] community shares our core values: to get each student the educational resources that best connect to his or her passions and needs, and then get out of the way,” wrote Katzman on Noodle’s blog.
Noodle has plans to incorporate the Lore learning management system into a new business model, Noodle Launch. This new project allows colleges to reach out to a wider audience via digital education, and Lore will be one of the fundamental services under this model.
Although the ownership of Lore has changed hands, Cohen said that the product will continue to operate autonomously, keeping its existing brand, technology and community. Both companies have also guaranteed that the product will remain free for users.
After the acquisition, Cohen anticipates an exciting future for the platform.
“Over time, I expect it to grow into something larger under the Noodle umbrella,” Cohen said in an email.
This acquisition is mainly a technology acquisition, and the Lore team, who are all given the option of working under Noodle, will not be joining their product in the transition to the company. For Cohen, the acquisition marks a fresh, new experience.
“I’m going to do some exploring before diving into my next thing: traveling, learning about new technologies and businesses, and meeting new people,” he wrote on his blog.
“We’re living in a unique moment of rapid change and enormous opportunity. I can’t wait for what’s next.”
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