NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Dec 13, 2013) - Abroad101, the world's first and largest study abroad review website, has been acquired from the Westonian Group by Ledra Capital and education entrepreneur Mark Shay, a team with deep expertise in international higher education and technology.
With more than 20,700 reviews of 7,700 programs, Abroad101 is the leading student review site for study abroad programs. It provides a free service for universities and students to rate, review and rank student experiences in study abroad programs. Abroad101 grew from one partnership at Tufts University in 2007 to more than 215 college partnerships today. The company was founded by Adam Miller, Mike Stone and Mark Lurie; MIT, Tufts and Harvard graduates, respectively.
Abroad101 is being acquired by Mark Shay and Ledra Capital, both of whom have been on the Advisory Board of the Westonian Group, the owner of Abroad101, since 2008. Mark Shay was a co-founder of EDU Directories, a successful educational directory business that included the industry-leading StudyAbroad.com. Ledra has played an essential role for over thirty years in building the University of Nicosia system, the leading English language university system in southern Europe. Ledra actively supports technology that increases accessibility to higher education, including the free AbroadOffice study abroad office administration software.
"Our goal has always been to increase transparency in the study abroad field and help students research their options more thoroughly," said Adam Miller, Co-Founder and Chairman of Abroad101. "I am delighted to know that Abroad101 will be in good hands for the long-term."
"We congratulate Adam Miller, Mike Stone, Mark Lurie and the whole Abroad101 team in their success in establishing the company as a leader in the field," said Mark Shay. "As accountability and outcomes assessment become more important in higher education, I look forward to working with host universities to help Abroad101 be at the forefront of this movement."
"We are pleased that we can help support the mission of Abroad101 to empower universities and students. We have been breaking down the barriers to international education for over thirty years and are a natural long-term home for Abroad101," said Antonis Polemitis, Managing Partner at Ledra Capital. "I am excited about Mark Shay joining this effort as he brings decades of expertise in the education abroad space."
"As study abroad becomes integral to every college student's experience and more options are offered to students each year, a tool like Abroad101 helps guide both the student and his or her academic advisor," said Michael N. DiMauro from the American Institute for Foreign Study, one of the largest study abroad providers in the U.S. and a long standing Abroad101 partner. "We are now able to demonstrate our excellent student outcomes to universities, which has been a very effective tool for us. I look forward to working with the new Abroad101 team."
Financial terms of the transaction were not announced. Miller, Stone and Lurie will be leaving Abroad101 to pursue new startup opportunities. Abroad101 indicated that near-term operational plans for the business would be announced shortly.
Abroad101's mission is to promote global citizenship by fostering the most meaningful study abroad experience for all students through technology innovation. Abroad101 empowers universities with its free market-leading online evaluation tool and provides an advertising and student recruitment platform to global program providers through its website StudyAbroad101.com and back-end subscriber tools. Abroad101 grew from one partnership at Tufts University in 2007 to more than 215 college partnerships today. Abroad101 is a 2010 winner of the MassChallenge Global Startup Competition. To learn more, visit www.studyabroad101.com.
About Ledra Capital
Ledra Capital is a privately-held group of companies and foundations whose underlying mission has been to expand accessibility to higher education. It helped found the first university and medical school in Cyprus and, today, holds trusteeships or investments in leading tertiary educational institutions that serve nearly 10,000 students annually. It is an active investor in technology, real estate and business services that support its overall educational mission. To learn more, visit: www.ledracapital.com