Mike Isaac

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Intel Acquires Ed-Tech Startup Kno

kno-textbooks-iPadIntel announced on Friday that it has acquired Kno, an education-software startup that specializes in interactive textbooks for mobile devices.

Kno was founded in 2009, and had first focused on selling actual hardware tablets marketed to college and K-12 students before pivoting to an all-software approach in 2011.

In a company blog post on Friday, Intel VP John Galvin said Kno’s acquisition would add more than 225,000 titles to Intel’s digital content library.

Intel positions the acquisition, which was first reported by TechCrunch, as a bolstering of Intel’s education initiative, which has aimed to integrate technology into teaching programs across the developing and developed worlds.

“Everybody now knows that tablets are going to be transformative in education,” Marc Andreessen, one of Kno’s investors, said in an interview on Friday evening. “But it hasn’t happened yet. We have these tablets as mainstream consumer products because they’re cool — but they’re not yet mainstream in the classroom.”

The company’s backers included such outfits as Andreessen Horowitz, Conde Nast owners Advance Publications and Intel Capital, Intel’s venture arm, among others. Kno had raised upward of $80 million in its e-textbook initiative to date.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

For a refresher on Kno’s offerings, here’s Kara Swisher’s 2012 interview with Kno CEO Osman Rashid.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik