2U acquires edX for $800M

2U-set-to-acquire-nonprofit-edX(source: SaaS Industry)

At a Glance

The assets of edX have been acquired by 2U, Inc., a global leader in education technology. Through one of the most comprehensive free-to-degree online education systems, 2U and edX will reach over 50 million learners worldwide. Combining 2U’s industry-leading marketing capabilities and edX.org’s burgeoning marketplace, which saw over 120 million visitors in 2020, is expected to provide a scalable and sustainable marketing advantage. 


2U, Inc., a global leader in education technology, has said that it has reached a deal to purchase edX’s assets, including the edX brand, website, and marketplace, for $800 million in cash.

The acquisition will be financed with cash on hand, which includes the recently funded term loan proceeds. Subject to standard closing conditions, the deal is expected to conclude within 120 days.

“We are excited about the significant opportunities this transaction provides to create value for shareholders and all of our stakeholders by further solidifying 2U’s position as the leading digital transformation partner to great nonprofit universities and extending our reach and ability to deliver high-quality online education offerings that meet the growing global demand from learners and corporations.”

Paul Lalljie, CFO of 2U

In one of the most comprehensive free-to-degree online education platform, 2U and edX will reach over 50 million learners globally, service over 230 institutions and business partners, and provide over 3,500 digital programs. 

The combination of 2U’s industry-leading marketing capabilities and the booming marketplace at edX.org, which had more than 120 million visits in 2020, is projected to build a scalable and sustainable marketing advantage and deliver yearly marketing cost reductions of 10 -15 percent.

“We believe today’s transaction enhances 2U’s momentum, as our business continues to perform well and our second-quarter results remain on track with our expectations. To facilitate the transaction, we closed on a $475 million senior secured term loan with attractive terms, including the ability to repay the debt at par in the event the transaction does not close.”

Mr. Lalljie added

EdX, like Udacity and Coursera, was launched in 2012 in the midst of a wave of massive open online course (MOOC) offerings. The charity organization’s first promise was alluring: it would allow anyone in the globe to attend a Harvard or MIT class for free. The universities have contributed a total of $80 million to edX to keep it free.

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