BV Investment Partners’ acquisition of education technology company StraighterLine came at a time when the need for affordable higher education has never been greater. The global economy requires a skilled workforce, and the Covid-19 pandemic has magnified the necessity for new expertise to succeed in an increasingly digital and evolving world. At the same time, the primary path to gain career ready skills and a college education is often out of reach for many people due to rising costs for college students who have to juggle jobs, families and financial responsibilities.
Access to Affordable Education
StraighterLine has created an affordable online platform that provides an accelerated path to formal degree programs. StraighterLine helps students succeed in their college journey, provides employers with upskilled employees and offers a way to reduce the inequality gap in an increasingly divided society, according to William Blair investment bankers who worked on the deal.
Covid-19 has accelerated the trend of online and remote learning. StraighterLine’s services have taken on increased relevance, as courses can be taken without the need for either students or faculty to be physically present on campus. Students can use StraighterLine courses to lay the foundation for a caree–relevant postsecondary degree or certificate–at their own pace. The process lowers the costs and risks for students, as there’s no need for student loans and credits are guaranteed to be accepted at accredited colleges and universities.
BV Investments saw StraighterLine as a company with true breakout potential because the pandemic has radically transformed the higher education sector. The virus has led to widespread adoption of remote learning as a necessity and likely jump-started the normalization of online learning.
An increasing number of non-traditional learners, including working adults, have been enrolling in colleges and universities. These students often do not have the same financial resources as traditional college students and are seeking options to reduce the overall costs of pursuing a college degree.