May 30, 2020
Canadian EdTech company TopHat agrees a deal to acquire all 400 titles from educational publisher Nelson’s university textbook business
For an undisclosed sum, educational publishing giant Nelson has sold its higher education textbook business to Canadian EdTech company TopHat. Nelson will now focus on the K-12 market and developing its online learning platform Edwin. Top Hat will in turn digitise 400 titles and incorporate the content into its learning platform, which is currently being used by more than 3 million students in North America.
Top Hat was founded in 2009 by Mike Silagadze and Mohsen Shahini near the University of Waterloo in Ontario. Their aim was to reduce the level of debt that students face when leaving university and to provide a more engaging experience for students with multimedia content that can be accessed on mobile devices. In 2017 they raised over $22.5 million (USD) in series C funding and now employ over 200 staff members.
“ We believe in the transformational power of education and the role it plays in building a stronger society and in turn an effect on gross domestic product for our country. That is why focusing on engaging students in K-12 education will result in better post-secondary preparedness and future workforce readiness. ” Steve Brown, Nelson President and CEO
Top Hat also recently announced that it is launching a virtual classroom which will enable lecturers to live stream lessons and record content which can be viewed on demand. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for universities to offer such platforms in the event of a forced closure.
“ As the world has moved online and information is available in real-time, educators have faced a growing challenge convincing students of the value and relevance of print textbooks…As the world has moved online and information is available in real-time, educators have faced a growing challenge convincing students of the value and relevance of print textbooks. ” Mike Silagadze, CEO, Top Hat