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updated: 6/18/2013 9:41 AM

Follett launches $50 million venture fund

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River Grove's Follett Corp. said it has created a venture capital fund focused on developing technologies to improve how educational materials are used and distributed.

Follett has committed $50 million to the new Follett Knowledge Fund, which the company said complements and extends its portfolio of digital solutions and tools.

"Follett has a long track record of investing in and introducing new technologies to the education marketplace, whether it be in K-12 classrooms, on college campuses or wherever learning takes place," said Mary Lee Schneider, president and CEO, Follett Corporation. "The Knowledge Fund will enable us to identify and invest in early-stage technologies that will make educational materials more accessible and affordable to students and educators alike."

The fund will be comanaged by Menlo Park, Calif.-based Atrium Capital. Atrium will partner with Follett to identify, analyze and manage investment opportunities for the fund and serve as an adjunct to Follett's business development activities in the emerging technology space.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with Follett Corporation to pursue EdTech innovations," said Russell B. Pyne, managing partner of Atrium Capital. "Follett is an extraordinary company with a great market position in the education space, and a clear vision for the future. The Knowledge Fund will serve as a launchpad for entrepreneurs seeking to transform the education landscape."

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