Intel acquires interactive textbook startup Kno

Intel (INTC) has acquired Kno, a creator and seller of digital textbooks that can be viewed through mobile, Web, and Windows apps. Terms are undisclosed; with Kno having raised $73M to date, odds are the price tag is in nine figures.

Kno's platform allows publishers to convert standard digital textbooks into interactive titles sporting features such as flash cards, quizzes, and embedded instructional videos, as well as a dashboard that keeps track of reading activity. Intel points out Kno, which competes with Amazon, Apple, and Google's e-textbook offerings, offers 225K titles via 75 publishers.

Though acquiring a digital textbook seller is off the beaten path for Intel, the chip giant does sell home-grown tablets and notebooks meant for the education market, as well as an education-focused software suite.

Moreover, Intel hasn't been shy about making software/services acquisitions it thinks can help drive demand for its CPUs. And Kno might indirectly help the company in a market (tablet processors) where it needs to play catch-up.

Kno is yet another e-textbook rival for online textbook rental leader Chegg (CHGG), which is set to go public in the upcoming week at a relatively modest valuation.

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Comments (7)
  • Jeach!
    , contributor
    Comments (896) | Send Message
    Doing such acquisition is non-sense unless you're planning on having your own OS and ecosystem.


    Which by the way I believe Intel will eventually go as it gets locked out of other vendors. Ok, locked out is the wrong word, more like "pushed out", but the result is that most vendors are controlling almost everything from hardware to platform to apps.


    Intel pretty much already sponsors or has all the parts... it's just a matter of time before they integrate it all together under one brand.
    9 Nov 2013, 01:05 PM Reply Like
  • justaminute
    , contributor
    Comments (1656) | Send Message
    Another silly acquisition.
    9 Nov 2013, 01:11 PM Reply Like
  • scorpion.bullfrog
    , contributor
    Comments (91) | Send Message
    Just when you think they have leadership and they're actually focused, you read something as stupid as this. Show us the money on McAfee and THEN we won't b***h when we read stuff like this. Intel looks absolutely rudderless after reading this.
    9 Nov 2013, 02:48 PM Reply Like
  • investingInvestor
    , contributor
    Comments (2502) | Send Message
    Where's Dilbert? He's project lead on the CEO's latest hot project. He can use anyone NOT CURRENTLY on any project.


    Crank up the PR. Intel enters new market leveraging Intel's demonstrated transistors, chips, and management. Intel's C level sees a green field opportunity in ebooks...a first mover advantage to replace dead tree publishers.


    (of course; to be taken with a twist of wry)
    9 Nov 2013, 03:04 PM Reply Like
  • Chiipy-Nostradamus
    , contributor
    Comments (100) | Send Message
    Quixotic and Strange move. Internet TV anyone ?
    10 Nov 2013, 01:50 AM Reply Like
  • ProfBob
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    E-textbooks Is the way of the future. Traditional publishers have priced books into the hundreds of dollars. E-textbooks drop the price about 40% from the major publisher. Upstart publishers like Total Health Publications are making high quality textbooks available for $5-$10. Flat World Knowledge and then nonprofit Open Stax have books available at minimal cost or even free.
    E-textbooks have so many advantages: they have no printing costs, no storage costs, they can be updated monthly instead of every two years as print books are usually done, they cut out the 20% or more profit of the college bookstores, they can be made interactive which print books cannot.
    The question is whether Intel will be willing to match the marketing that the major publishers do, with large sales forces, attendance at conventions for educators and the development of ancillaries (test questions, teaching aids, etc. that the print publishers have been doing for years. If they take in some knowledgeable college and high school publishing people from the major companies it could be a boon for Intel and for college students.
    10 Nov 2013, 08:25 AM Reply Like
  • investingInvestor
    , contributor
    Comments (2502) | Send Message
    Prof Bob, welcome to SA.


    Agreeing with your ebook statements.


    Just do not see Intel branded devices in the mix. Remember, Intel has their devices built in the same 3rd party factories as everyone else.


    This is NOT Intel going vertical as a business model. Who knows what this means...if anything meaningful. Intel has lost it for the last seven years with new initiatives that Intel soon sells off (e.g., netbooks, utlrabooks, touch screens, OSs, tv, AI, user interfaces, ebooks).
    10 Nov 2013, 05:53 PM Reply Like
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