Israeli educational games startup CodeMonkey has been acquired by China’s giant TAL Education Group for an estimated $15-$20 million, China’s Xinhua news agency has reported.
CodeMonkey is an educational programming games platform for middle-school students with the sassy slogan, “Write code. Catch bananas. Save the world.”
In the past three years, over a quarter of a million students in Israel have used the system in more than 2,000 schools.
Founded in 2013 by brothers Ido and Jonathan Schor with their friend Yishai Pinchover, CodeMonkey teaches children programming knowledge alongside 21st-century skills through collaboratively playing and solving puzzles, inventing, creating and sharing.
CodeMonkey’s Chief Technology Officer Ido Schor explained “As entrepreneurs focused on education and technology, we at first had wild visions of a platform completely independent of the classroom environment and teacher assistance. “As we met real customers, we understood the value of teachers and how our product had to develop along with teachers.”
Based in Tel Aviv, CodeMonkey markets its products in Israel and the US, as well as 10 other countries in Asia, Europe and South America, and After the acquisition, CodeMonkey will continue to expand the brand internationally and develop extensions for the Chinese market.
The company will operate as an independent subsidiary, conducting R&D for the Chinese and other markets.
For TAL, a revenue of over $1 billion last year company, the deal with CodeMonkey is a first of its kind. TAL has an investment portfolio of more than 100 ventures, but this is the first non-Chinese acquisition the company has done.
TAL chairman and CEO Zhang Bangxin said, “CodeMonkey is a leading product for learning 21st century programming and skills for children, and we look forward to working with its team to continue the company’s success.”
CodeMonkey cofounder and CEO Jonathan Schor said, “TAL Education is an ideal partner for us to accelerate the entry into the Chinese market, a country we have defined as a major target several years ago, while supporting the expansion of operations in the rest of the world.”