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Thought Leaders in Online Education: Cheryl Vedoe, CEO of Apex Learning (Part 6)

Posted on Saturday, Mar 18th 2017

Sramana Mitra: What you do forecast? Based on your experience and based on the fact that you’re immersed in this world, at what point in our evolution do we expect to see a broader and deeper penetration of online learning into the full-fledged K-12 system?

Cheryl Vedoe: I think I would really need a crystal ball to forecast when that’s going to happen, to be honest. Because I’ve been involved in education and the integration of technology and digital content into education for more than 25 years now. There have been many points along that path where many have predicted that the tipping point is here. We’ve not seen that tipping point yet.

I do see that digital content is being more readily accepted today than it ever has been. As I said, we are seeing a shift from those two ends of the spectrum to more integration of digital solutions to help more students stay on track and achieve higher levels. I think we’ll continue to see that increase. To be honest, I really couldn’t predict when we’re going to see a tipping point there.

Sramana Mitra: What’s happening with your company? Catch us up a little bit on the company. What metrics would you like to share?

Cheryl Vedoe: We continue to be a growing, profitable company. Profitability is important when you’re a business because that profitability is what gives you the ability to fund ongoing development in new solutions. Since I joined the company, we’ve grown our revenue by a factor of 10. When I joined the company, we were much smaller. We weren’t profitable. We are profitable now, and our profitability is increasing now.

Sramana Mitra: You have quite a bit of venture capital in the company too, right?

Cheryl Vedoe: The majority of the venture capital came into the company came before I joined. Our last major financing was actually 10 years ago. We are a venture capital-backed company but the last major investment was the summer of 2016.

Sramana Mitra: Are you starting to think of some exit of some sort because VCs don’t just sit there for 15 years. They need an exit.

Cheryl Vedoe: When you’re a privately held company with venture capital firms and shareholders, they ultimately want an exit. We have been very fortunate and I think it’s critical for a K-12 education company to have patient investors. They are optimistic about what an exit will look like based on the fact that we’ve achieved scale and continue to grow.

Sramana Mitra: No exit currently in sight?

Cheryl Vedoe: Nothing that I can talk about today but there will be an exit at some point. That I can tell you with confidence.

Sramana Mitra: Is there anything else that you want to share.

Cheryl Vedoe: No, I think we’ve covered what we’re doing. The first half of our conversation was about the evolution of what we’ve done as a company and the last part covered more of the business details. I think that’s a fairly complete picture.

Sramana Mitra: Good catching up. Thank you for your time.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Thought Leaders in Online Education: Cheryl Vedoe, CEO of Apex Learning
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