Newsela Announces First Acquisitions

Newsela Announces First Acquisitions

October 14, 2021

Company acquires interactive video leader HapYak to create a more engaging, digital-first instructional materials solution for K-12 education 

NEW YORK – October 13, 2021 – Newsela, the leading K-12 instructional content platform used by over 40 million students and 3.3 million teachers, announced today that it has acquired HapYak, a top interactive video platform that creates flexible, customizable, highly engaging, and relevant video experiences. Newsela also purchased a portion of the technology of Fluent City, a language learning technology startup. These deals mark the first acquisitions for Newsela, which completed a $100 million series D investment round earlier this year. 

“The best education technology powers teaching, it doesn’t replace it,” said Matthew Gross, CEO and co-founder of Newsela. “Video used to be the substitute teacher, but today’s educators are leveraging video technology to spark active and meaningful interaction among students. We are incredibly excited to welcome HapYak to the Newsela team and increase our capacity to provide highly-engaging, academically-rigorous learning experiences to students across the country.”   

As classrooms move away from paper-based textbooks in favor of digital instructional content, teachers are increasingly turning to video to enrich the static model of traditional curriculum. The challenge for teachers has been finding appropriate and aligned instructionalized videos. This acquisition will enable Newsela to further build out its video capabilities and add new media to its existing 15,000+ catalogue of high-quality, high-interest, standards-aligned content carefully curated from over 175 trusted publishers, including the Associated Press, National Geographic, Scientific American, USA Today, Atlanta Black Star, and Human Rights Watch.

HapYak is a leader in enterprise-level training, interactive videos, and online learning and is used by organizations such as AARP, Merck, GE, and the Stanford School of Medicine. Its technology includes interactive, personalized player functionality like hotspots and in-video clickable links and quizzes, as well as artificial intelligence capabilities for text-to-speech and translation. 

“Learning has always been at the heart of our company,” said HapYak’s founder, Kyle Morton. “Educators were early adopters of our technology and we are humbled to be able to bring its benefits to the millions of Newsela students and teachers at such a pivotal moment for our education system.” 

In a subsequent transaction, Brightcove, a global leader of video for business, and Newsela entered into an agreement for Brightcove to acquire HapYak’s commercial interactivity technology, the HapYak brand, and certain HapYak marketing assets from Newsela. Brightcove also expects to acquire HapYak's customer relationships globally. The parties expect this acquisition to close in Q4, 2021, subject to satisfaction of certain closing conditions. Brightcove’s press release includes additional details.

About Newsela

Newsela takes authentic, real world content from trusted sources and makes it instruction ready for K-12 classrooms. Each text is published at five reading levels, so content is accessible to every learner. Today, over 3.3 million teachers and 40 million students have registered with Newsela for content that’s personalized to student interests, accessible to everyone, aligned to instructional standards, and attached to activities and reporting that hold teachers accountable for instruction and students accountable for their work. With over 15,000 texts on our platform and 10 new texts published every day across 20+ genres, Newsela enables educators to go deep on any subject they choose. 

For more information about Newsela or to join the team, visit Newsela's home page.