Pearson-backed edtech startup Alleyoop is closing down, effective March 31.
The Boston-based startup launched in February 2012 to help teens become better prepared for college, and it has grown to 100,000 users.
It’s unclear why Pearson is pulling the plug, but a spokesperson said they have been attempting to innovate in the space for years.
When it first launched, the startup was hailed by the press as the “Zynga for learning.” Alleyoop’s design is reminiscent of a game — students can sign on through Facebook Connect and then search for homework help.
“Fundamentally, we’re focused on big problem of how you help a teen take control of their future,” Alleyoop President Patrick Supanc told Mashable when the site first launched.
The plan appears to be to hand off existing users to the company’s partners. “Soon we plan to share a bundle of very special offers from our trusted learning partners to help you continue your preparation for college,” an email to the site’s users reads.
A spokesperson sent over a full statement to describe how the site will “wind down” in the coming month. Ed-tech blogger Audrey Watters tweeted the news this afternoon.
“Pearson “incubated” Alleyoop with the goal of helping teens to prepare for college and careers. After three years of design, development, and beta testing — we’ll be closing Alleyoop on March 31. The Alleyoop team will work to facilitate a smooth transition for the online community of users and business partners as we wind down the site.
Innovation is a process of trial and error driven by rapid iteration and risk taking. Over the past few years, we’ve tried some new things and learned a lot. We’ll build on and apply the lessons learned from Alleyoop and its talented team, such as how to engage and motivate students using adaptive learning and gaming techniques, in new ways in new ventures. From our Research and Innovation Network to our new Catalyst program for ed tech start-ups, we remain deeply invested in developing and scaling effective new models for improving achievement, access and affordability in education.”
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