Washington Post Acquires CourseAdvisor

    October 15, 2007

If search engines are contributing to the death of newspapers, what better to save a newspaper than a search firm?  Perhaps nothing.  And now The Washington Post Company, seeing the logic (and/or the irony) of this idea, has acquired CourseAdvisor.

CourseAdvisor doesn’t offer search in the Google-y sense; instead, it tries to match students with schools and degrees.  Around two million people per month take advantage of CourseAdvisor’s services, though (according to the company’s own stats), so it’s in a decent position to offer advice.

Not that The Washington Post is floundering – it’s one of those newspapers that just about everyone recognizes by name, and the recent introduction of a sponsored blogroll has helped raise its profile among the Web 2.0 crowd.  Still, since The Washington Post Company also owns Kaplan, the CourseAdvisor acquisition seems an especially good fit.

Financial details of the transaction remain unknown, but to give us an idea of CourseAdvisor’s size, Joseph Weisenthal reports that “the company did an initial $12 million round in 2006 led by ABS Capital, in which The Washington Post . . . took part.”

Finally, although a sharing of SEO tips and an integration between Kaplan and CourseAdvisor seem likely, The Washington Post Company hasn’t made clear precisely what will happen as a result of the acquisition.