After receiving a reported $6.5 million from Group One Capital in September 1999, ChildU Inc., an online distance learning company for the K-12 market, has struggled to secure additional funding. In May, ChildU announced that it would be acquired by WRC Media Inc., an educational publishing and media firm. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed, but ChildU expects all 55 of its employees to remain with the company.
WRC Media, an education division of the investment firm Ripplewood Holdings LLC, creates and distributes supplementary educational materials, software, testing materials, and reference products for the home, school, and library markets. The company’s other holdings include CompassLearning (formerly Jostens Learning Corp.), The Weekly Reader, World Almanac, and Funk & Wagnall’s Encyclopedia. Through its various entities, WRC claims to be present in about 90 percent of U.S. school districts.
ChildU provides supplementary online curriculum and assessment tools that are available around the clock for the K-12 and homeschool markets. ChildU’s The Learning Odyssey is an online interactive educational curriculum tool that offers online curriculum supplements, placement tests, and ongoing assessments that can be customized for individual students.
Under the auspices of WRC Media, ChildU will have the financial support to continue to build and enhance its offerings. The company will be able to capitalize on WRC Media’s well-established brands and will have access to the company’s extensive distribution system in the K-12 market.
With the purchase of ChildU, WRC Media will seek to expand its areas of expertise. With assets totaling more than $541 million and backed by Ripplewood’s $6 billion in assets, the company is positioned to take advantage of its existing knowledge in order to build out its online offerings for the K-12 market, company officials said.