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E-learning Interview South Africa

Noodle acquires Hubble Studios to modernise e-learning in South Africa

Noodle, a US-based online education network of universities, employers, and learners, recently completed the acquisition of Hubble Studios, a global e-learning design firm headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa.
Photo by Mikhail Nilov from
Photo by Mikhail Nilov from

Hubble Studios is a South African e-learning company founded in 2012 to develop custom online education content and technology that maximises learning impact and serves the missions of their vast partner institutions, foundations and corporate clients - ranging from local organisations such as Mr Price and the University of Cape Town, to global organisations such as Johnson & Johnson, the University of Oxford and the World Bank.

Contributing as both a thought partner and expert executer, Hubble Studios teams of expert learning designers, creatives and software engineers work with their clients to create edtech solutions. Their aim is to guide, co-design and develop customised e-learning solutions that are client-led and end-user focused by creating formal assessments, notes and graphics, to videos, animations and games, which are all custom-built for effective learning.

In terms of the current landscape of edtech in South Africa, Hubble Studios CEO, Hannes Geldenhuys says "there is a lot of activity – both to serve local education challenges as well as serving global needs for edtech services. South African edtech skills are considered high calibre, and very cost-effective compared to other parts of the world. With this reputation, a lot of edtech startups look to base substantial operations in South Africa."

Noodle and Hubble Studios first partnered in 2021 and in working together, the two companies experienced a strong match in its missions and values. In this time, Noodle had also been looking to bring learning design services in-house and Hubble Studios was a great match. The rest is history.

“Noodle and Hubble Studios share a vision of great learning that is engaging, personalised, interactive, intuitive, inclusive and collaborative,” said Melora Sundt, chief academic officer of Noodle. “The extensive experience of Hubble Studios in higher education and the quality of their work with Noodle make them a natural fit as we augment our internal learning design capabilities.”

The acquisition marks Noodle’s entry into the international and local South African market, scaling to seven countries including the US, South Africa, Australia, England, Germany, Switzerland and Singapore. The substantial added capacity accelerates the company’s mission to modernise online learning design and the overall learner experience for university partners and students.

"Noodle has been growing fast, and is excited to grow our South African team in order for them to keep up with their ambitious trajectory", notes Geldenhuys, who joins Noodle as SVP of International and will be responsible for spearheading international partnerships.

Hannes Geldenhuys, CEO at Hubble Studios CEO, joins Noodle as SVP of International
Hannes Geldenhuys, CEO at Hubble Studios CEO, joins Noodle as SVP of International

In addition, this synergy aims to create more jobs in the evolving edtech sector in South Africa.

“The acquisition underscores and strengthens Noodle’s commitment to building world-class online learning design that is affordable for our partners and modernises teaching and learning,” says John Katzman, founder and CEO of Noodle. “We believe the new emphasis of Hubble Studio’s innovative and interactive design capabilities empowers Noodle to create a unified vision for the rigor and aesthetic of the online learning experience and to integrate that vision into the ongoing student journey, from inquiry to alumnus, and lifelong learner.”

Furthermore, this acquisition continues a multi-year evolution of Noodle bringing its services, such as marketing, enrollment, and student support, in-house to more nimbly and efficiently respond to its university partner’s needs to modernise the online learning experience to make it engaging, effective, and accessible for all faculty and learners.

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