A month or so ago, we reported that Kno was looking for a way out of the tablet hardware business and intended to transition itself into a purely software-centric operation. Well, now Bloomberg and All Things D tell us that a deal has been worked out to make that desire a reality. A $30 million investment round led by Intel Capital has reportedly been arranged, whose stipulations include granting Intel a license to the hardware designs and blueprints of the original dual-screen tablet. Chipzilla's share of the new buy-in is estimated at around $20 million, though before you start fantasizing about what the company's financial and R&D muscle could do for the platform, we should note that it apparently doesn't intend to build any tablets of its own. The goal is simply to obtain the knohow and share it with its OEM partners (while inevitably tying that gesture of goodwill to more chip orders). As to Kno itself, it'll try to exploit the new cash in its continued efforts to become an educational software delivery platform benefiting from its many partnerships with academic institutions. Knowledge is power, after all.
Update: Not that there was much doubt, but this deal is now completely official. Press release is after the break.
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Intel Capital, Advance Publications, Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, FLOODGATE and SV Angels Invest $30 Million In Kno
Intel and Kno to Further Innovation in Education Tablet Market
Santa Clara, CA – April 8, 2011 – Kno, Inc., a leading education software company, announced today that it has closed $30 million in Series C financing led by new investor Intel Capital that contributed $20 million. Advance Publications Inc. also participated as a new investor. All of Kno's existing institutional investors participated in the round, including Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, FLOODGATE and SV Angels. This latest round of funding will help Kno continue to develop its innovative educational software solution for multiple platforms and devices, including Intel Architecture.
As part of the agreement, Intel and Kno will join forces to advance the use of tablet computers designed to meet the needs of interactive and 1:1 student learning environments. The two companies will explore opportunities to make Kno's touch-based applications available for Intel's educational platforms.
"We are excited to have the opportunity to continue building our solutions in broader education markets and onto the innovative Intel-based platforms," said Osman Rashid, CEO and Co-Founder, Kno, Inc. "We look forward to working together with the ultimate goal of making learning engaging, collaborative and fun for students."
"Kno's unique end-to-end software and their experience with content publishers aligns very well with Intel's approach of delivering a holistic solution for education that comprises of hardware, software, digital content and services," said Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and Intel executive vice president. "We plan to work with Kno and continue to bring a wide range of innovative platform choices to students worldwide."
Kno, Inc. is an education software company on a mission to make learning engaging, effective, and social for students. Osman Rashid, the co-founder of Chegg, and Babur Habib, a consumer electronics veteran, founded Kno, Inc. in May 2009. The company has received funding from Advance Publications, Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, FLOODGATE, Intel Capital, Ron Conway, Silicon Valley Bank, SV Angels and TriplePoint Capital and is based in Santa Clara, California. For more information go to www.kno.com, or follow Kno at facebook.com/GoodtoKno and http://twitter.com/GoodtoKNO.
About Intel Capital
Intel Capital, Intel's global investment organization, makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide. Intel Capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software, and services targeting enterprise, home, mobility, health, consumer Internet, semiconductor manufacturing and cleantech. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested more than US$9.8 billion in over 1,100 companies in 48 countries. In that timeframe, 189 portfolio companies have gone public on various exchanges around the world and 258 were acquired or participated in a merger. In 2010, Intel Capital invested US$327 million in 119 investments with approximately 44 percent of funds invested outside the U.S. and Canada. For more information on Intel Capital and its differentiated advantages, visit www.intelcapital.com.