Belgium’s Mediahuis is reportedly investing €40 million in online academic book platform Perlego


In an interview with Belgian weekly Knack, Gauthier Van Malderen, Perlego’s co-founder and CEO, casually mentioned that the company had recently received new financing involving a €40 million investment from newspaper publisher and broadcaster Mediahuis, valued at around 250 million euros.

While Mediahuis disputes the number, investment in the company’s venture arm thesis, Edtech, falls and it’s worth noting that Thomas Leysen, who holds significant stakes in and chairman of MediaHuis, has sat on Perlego’s cap table since joining Perlegos Round of Serie A in November 2019.

In 2020, the great school book business generated $7.85 billion in revenue in the United States alone. After experiencing first-hand the crushing financial reality of the cost of textbooks and witnessing first-hand the effort students go to to meet course requirements; Skip the not-so-legal process of photocopying or buying books second-, third-, or even fourth-hand, Perlego co-founders Van Malderen and Matt Davis set out to build a better mousetrap.

Just as Spotify has set out to achieve the unattainable in the music industry and transform its decades-old practices to a new model, Perlego is trying to do the same in the academic publishing industry. Via a monthly or annual subscription, Perlego users have access to around 800,000 titles on over 900 different topics and subtopics from over 6,000 publishers.

As with many edtech companies, the pandemic fueled Perlego’s growth at a rapid pace, with Van Maldren reporting to the Evening Standard that subscribers had skyrocketed 1222% in the 12 months to March 2020. The company recently demonstrated this strong growth celebrated the addition of his 100th team member

Perlego’s previous investors include Alex Chesterman, founder of Dedicated VC, Zoopla and Cazoo, co-founder of LoveFilm, Simon Franks, Charlie Songhurst and Founders Factory of Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox.


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