2U + Trilogy: Vote of confidence in Lifelong Learning (and other thoughts)

A few minutes ago 2U announced the acquisition of Trilogy for more than 6x their 2019 (forward-looking) revenue – a big number. It continues the consolidation started with last month’s announcement that Zovio acquired Fullstack Academy.

It’s the biggest vote so far for the future of “Lifelong Learning”. From Pluralsight ($4B market cap & 50% uptick since May’s IPO) to Thinkful which tripled (in students hired and revenue) in 2017 and again in 2018, there’s (finally) recognition that adults will be learning forever — that ambition doesn’t stop at age 22 and that career development requires skill development. 2U’s 2018Q4 earnings presentation (page 3) is a handy roadmap that almost calls out Trilogy by name.

Some other thoughts:

  • This consolidates 2U’s power with Universities. Some 2U schools can now add in-person programs from Trilogy; others may find themselves in a lesser negotiating position as contracts come up for renewal or they consider adding new Continuing Education programs.

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Launching companies with undiscovered founders for 503 Corp. Co-founded+CEO’d+sold Thinkful (acquired by Chegg) & Perpetually (acquired by Dell).

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Darrell Silver

Launching companies with undiscovered founders for 503 Corp. Co-founded+CEO’d+sold Thinkful (acquired by Chegg) & Perpetually (acquired by Dell).