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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nerdy, the parent company of online learning platform Varsity Tutors, is in talks to be acquired by a SPAC affiliated with private equity giant TPG, Axios has learned from multiple sources.

Why it matters: In less than a year, SPAC acquisitions have evolved from a niche market into a widely-accepted alternative to initial public offerings (IPOs).

  • Varsity Tutors, based in St. Louis, is a live learning platform that includes everything from K-5 tutoring to graduate school test prep and professional certifications.
  • Nerdy has raised over $100 million in venture capital funding from firms like TCV, Learn Capital and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
  • The company has not returned request for comment on the deal, which has not yet been finalized.

Go deeper

House passes $768 billion defense spending bill

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House approved a $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2022 fiscal year in a bipartisan 316-113 vote on Thursday.

Why it matters: The annual bill, which authorizes Pentagon spending levels and guides policy for the department, would require women to register for the military draft, among other provisions.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans’ secret lobbying

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The five Senate Republicans who helped negotiate and draft the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill have been privately courting their Republican colleagues to pass the measure in the House.

Why it matters: House GOP leaders are actively urging their members to oppose the bill. The senators are working to undercut that effort as Monday shapes up as a do-or-die moment for the bipartisan bill.

CBC members nix border visit

A Haitian migrant carries a toddler on his shoulders today as he crosses the Rio Grande River. Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images

Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus weighed visiting the U.S.-Mexico border this week to investigate the conditions faced by Haitian migrants and protest allegations of inhumane treatment by U.S. agents.

Why it matters: It's a thorny proposition both in terms of timing and messaging. Going assures a new wave of negative headlines for President Biden amid sinking popularity. And with congressional deadlines in the coming days over infrastructure, a possible government shutdown and debt-limit crisis, Democrats can't afford to lose any votes in the House.