- Wiley announced this week it acquired London-based training provider Mthree in a $129 million cash deal.
- Mthree teaches professionals and students technology skills sought after in the workplace. It operates in 20 cities across four continents, including North America, and is expected to have generated $50 million in revenue in 2019.
- The acquisition comes as Wiley, which provides online program management (OPM) services to dozens of colleges, expands its footprint in the career education market.
With Mthree, Wiley will be able to tap into the growing demand for technology skills training. To close the global cybersecurity skills gap, some 4 million workers are needed, according to one recent survey.
In the past couple of years, Wiley made moves to expand its educational services offerings, which helped offset declining revenues in its book publishing business.
In 2018, Wiley snapped up OPM Learning House in a $200 million deal, making the publisher one of the largest providers of OPM services, with 65 university partners at the end of its most recent financial quarter. The agreement also expanded Wiley's nondegree offerings through the Software Guild, a boot camp and short course provider Learning House acquired in 2015.
These deals have helped the company broaden its offerings beyond traditional degrees and into the "career credentialing services that the marketing is demanding," Wiley President and CEO Brian Napack said during a call with analysts in December.
Wiley has also expanded its services through other recent pickups. In May, the company announced it was acquiring Knewton, which provides adaptive learning technology to help pinpoint sections of educational materials that students are struggling to learn.
The market for services that help colleges develop and deliver online education is expected to grow in the coming years. In a September report, education market research firm HolonIQ predicted the sector would reach $7.8 billion by 2025, up from roughly $3.5 billion today.
Other big OPMs have also been branching out. 2U, for instance, has been responding to heightened competition for online learners by acquiring companies that will help it offer a wider variety of credentials.
In 2017, 2U bought GetSmarter, which delivers online short courses. And last year, it formed a strategic partnership with another OPM called Keypath Education to support smaller, as well as less-expensive, programs. Around the same time, 2U bought the boot camp provider Trilogy Education, which brought with it 32 new university partners.