iversity reboots with Holtzbrinck Digital

Hannes Klöpper, Gordon Friebe, Christina Pautsch, Dr. Florian Nickels-Teske

BERLIN/ MUNICH: Holtzbrinck Digital, the internet investment holding of Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, invests in the online education platform iversity. Thus shortly after filing for insolvency in June the management team successfully managed to bring on a new investor. The investment on the basis of an asset deal allows the team to leave the insolvent company behind and provides it with a long-term financing perspective. Approval by the creditors’ council is still pending but is generally considered a formality.

Clear Focus: Corporate Digital Learning
Going forward iversity will continue to focus on its B2B business. On the one hand, this mean building out its public course offering in the field of professional development. On the other, the company will work closely with corporate clients to develop customised solutions meeting specific customer-needs.

Christina Pautsch, formerly Director of Product at iversity, will become second managing director besides Hannes Klöpper. Together with Dr. Florian Nickels-Teske, in charge of Business Development, and Gordon Friebe, in charge of Technology, they make up the four-member founding team.

Hannes Klöpper: “Holtzbrinck Digital is the ideal partner for iversity. They offer us a long-term perspective as well as the opportunity to closely collaborate with other companies within the Holtzbrinck Group.”

Markus Schunk, Managing Director of Holtzbrinck Digital: “We are happy about our investment in iversity. As a pioneer in the field of digital education, iversity has already achieved a lot. We aim for a fruitful collaboration and are sure that in the next years we will be able to achieve our ambitious growth objectives. A first important step in this direction is the strategic collaboration with Springer Nature.”

Strategic Collaboration with Springer Nature: Digital Degree Programmes Expand iversity’s Existing Academic Offering
The free courses (MOOCs) currently on the platform can remain there as far as iversity is concerned. The company is engaged in negotiations with a number of parties in order to find ways how an academic course offering can be made sustainable.

Part of the new strategy is an exclusive cooperation with Springer Nature, which is part of Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. In collaboration with Springer Nature iversity plans to digital degree programmes. Existing Springer Nature distance education programmes as well as new offerings in the field of professional development will be offered on iversity in a digital format. Moreover, the partners plan to experiment with new formats that complement Springer Nature’s existing textbook business.

“In 2013 iversity was the first platform globally to offer MOOCs for credit. Working with Springer Nature will allow us to make the important step towards full-degree programmes” explains Christina Pautsch, who leads iversity’s product development.

Dr. Niels Peter Thomas, Executive Vice President, German Language Science Publishing: “We are happy to have found a partner with whom we can offer Springer Campus distance education in a state-of-the-art format. We see great potential for this type of offering – in Germany as well as elsewhere around the globe.”

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