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Barnes & Noble Acquires Deeper Roots in Ed Tech

Barnes & Noble Education is embedding itself more deeply into its chosen segment with its acquisition of a student writing service that will put it into continual contact with the students it seeks to serve. The company, which runs 769 campus bookstores, recently acquired Student Brands for $58.5 million in cash. Student Brands maintains an international network of online businesses that help students in college and K-12 improve their writing and research skills.

According to BNED, the company generates 20 million monthly users on its sites, which include, and in the United States, in Brazil, in France and in Mexico. Student Brands generates revenue primarily through subscription-based services and digital advertising.

The latest purchase is intended to help BNED expand operations beyond the bookstore and grow roots in educational content. "The lack of writing proficiency is one of the most significant challenges in our education system, and Student Brands provides a significant opportunity to serve this market with solutions that improve student performance," said Kanuj Malhotra, the company's chief operating officer for digital education, in a prepared statement. "The addition of Student Brands and its nearly 100,000 subscribers will enable us to offer products and services directly to our current student base and beyond."

Earlier this year BNED bought MBS Textbook Exchange, which runs virtual college bookstores and serves as a major textbook wholesaler.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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