Intel is taking a big step into the education sector with its acquisition of Kno, a well-funded digital textbooks startup.
A spokesperson from Intel Education published a blog post on the website this afternoon after TechCrunch reported that a deal was in the works.
The price of the deal was not disclosed, but it could not have come cheap, given that Kno has raised a little over $73 million in venture capital from top firms like Andreessen Horowitz and SV Angel. As we previously reported, the company was under pressure to generate real revenues to satisfy its investors.
Back in 2009, Kno’s founders had intended to sell mobile hardware to help students learn. But tablets came along, so the startup made the shift to digital textbooks.
We most recently touched base with Kno’s chief executive Osman Rashid when the company released a product that could turn a boring PDF into an interactive ebook in minutes. The product, dubbed Advance, was initially built for internal use, but they started getting requests from the largest book publishers, including McGraw Hill Education and Wayside Publishing.
According to Intel’s sales and marketing executive John Galvin, the acquisition will “boost Intel’s global digital content library to more than 225,000 higher education and K-12 titles through existing partnerships with 75 educational publishers.” Kno’s some 200,000 interactive titles, from K12 through to higher ed-level textbooks, can be accessed via its iPad, Android, and Windows 7 and Windows 8 apps.