Replica company

Entrepreneurship education firm acquires Antelope Valley University to build ‘meta-university’

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Diving Brief:

  • Genius Group, a Singapore-based educational technology company specializing in training entrepreneurs, announced on Monday that it had recently acquired Antelope Valley University, a for-profit institution in California that offers undergraduate programs. , graduate and certificate courses.
  • The deal is one of several recent acquisitions Genius Group made after its IPO in April, according to at his announcement. Genius Group plans to develop the university campus and build a meta-university – a digital replica of the institution in the metaverse – to deliver immersive higher education around the world.
  • Company and university officials did not disclose the terms of the agreement. But the company said it had completed more than $50 million in acquisitions since mid-April, including the purchases of a New Zealand home childcare company, a primary school provider and secondary schools in South Africa and a network of real estate investors in England.

Overview of the dive:

Genius Group got its start two decades ago by creating a personality quiz for entrepreneurs and running a resort for them in Bali with in-person training, according to the company’s website. For the past few years, it has operated a subsidiary, GeniusU, as a wholly-owned educational technology company that provides training to entrepreneurs worldwide.

Earlier this year, the company went public and subsequently acquired four companies to fuel its growth. It plans to combine education programs from its recent acquisitions with its existing offerings to create a “lifelong learning system,” according to the announcement. It has over 2.9 million students of almost all ages in 200 countries.

Genius Group continued to purchase these institutions and companies because they share the company’s focus on building entrepreneurs, according to the announcement. In the case of Antelope Valley University, the institution offers degrees in areas such as business, sports management, nursing, psychology, and education. It had about 730 students in fall 2020, most of whom were in face-to-face classes, according to federal data.

University founders Marco and Sandra Johnson welcomed the acquisition in a statement. “We are excited for the additional resources, students, and faculty that Genius Group can bring to Antelope Valley University,” they said.

Company and university officials did not immediately respond to questions about what a meta-university would look like or how Genius Group plans to develop the campus. But it wouldn’t be the first higher education institution to embark on the Metaverse, which describes a set of virtual and augmented reality technologies intended to deliver an immersive digital experience.

Ten US universities, including South Dakota State University, recently signed up to create digital replicas of their campuses that students can access with VR headsets, EdSurge reported. Funded by Facebook’s parent company, Meta, the project aims to provide students with virtual reality tools in their classrooms and allow them to interact with each other via digital avatars.