College graduates, Domestic, Education Quality, High school / Secondary 2, Investors, Private education, Public education, Publishers, Required, Startups, STEM / Science, Technology, Education, Math, Technology, University & College, Venture Capital - Written by Wired Academic on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 7:08 - 0 Comments
Knewton Lands $33 Million In VC Funding, Including From Founder’s Funders: Peter Thiel & Sean Parker
Education startup Knewton reeled in $33 million in venture capital funding last week, led by Founders Fund and Publishing giant Pearson. Returning investors include Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, and FirstMark Capital.
Founders Fund, of course, includes money from several heavy hitters, including PayPal co-founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel, PayPal leaders Luke Nosek and Ken Howery along with Sean Parker, the Napster founder who also has a hand in Plaxo, Causes and Facebook.
So why did Knewton get the attention of these guys alongside startups like Spotify, SocDoc and SpaceX?
“Knewton is poised to become a global lynchpin in online education and, more importantly, to improve education for everyone,” said Luke Nosek, Managing Partner of Founders Fund. Knewton says its new financing will accelerate its expansion of the company’s Adaptive Learning Platform(TM), which transforms third-party educational content by personalizing it to each individual student.
Knewton’s technology can remix a publisher’s or school’s educational materials to match each student’s strengths, weaknesses, and unique learning style. The company says its Adaptive Learning Platform(TM) boosts student learning and retention, supercharging homework so that teachers see better-prepared students in class. One of its key applications is to GMAT test preparation.
Knewton launched two first-year college math courses – College Mathematics and College Algebra – plus a self-paced Math Readiness for College(TM) course. That could be a crucial product for improving remedial education in the U.S. as well as for standardizing early preparations for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) efforts. Knewton’s web site explains it’s market:
Knewton is a technology company based in NYC. Our Adaptive Learning Platform™ customizes standardized educational content to meet the unique needs of each student. Knewton analyzes learning materials based on thousands of data points—concepts, structure, difficulty level, media format—and uses sophisticated algorithms to piece together the perfect bundle of content for each student, every day.
The more students who use the platform, the more accurate it becomes. It’s similar to Pandora’s music recommendations or Google’s search results. Last year we were named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, following in the footsteps of companies like Twitter, Firefox, and Paypal.
Today, students in 190 countries are learning using The Adaptive Learning Platform™. Colleges and universities are solving long-standing remediation problems with Math Readiness for College™ and students across the globe are using our GMAT, LSAT, and SAT prep courses to get ready for test day.
Knewton is partnering with non-profits and for-profit colleges ranging from Arizona State University to Mount St. Marty’s University and Education Management Corp. It plans to expand it’s university partnerships and also in the K-12 schools. It says it will double its current team of 70 employees in the next 18 to 24 months, focusing on hiring software engineers and data scientists.
“There’s a revolution brewing in education,” said Jose Ferreira, Knewton’s founder and CEO. “Between increased broadband and the rise of tablet computing, many more students are accessing their homework and even their classes online. In so doing they are producing unfathomable quantities of data.”
Mr. Ferreira founded the company in 2008. He is a former executive at Kaplan.
visit www.knewton.com .
Leave a Reply
We welcome Tips & Pitches
Latest WA Original Features
The Pulitzer Prize winning investigation newsroom digs into for-profit education.
- Interview: UoPeople Founder Shai Reshef On Edu Tech, Free Tuition & P2P Learning
- Cheating in School— How the Digital Age Affects Attitudes About Plagiarism [Infographic]
- U of Phoenix: Raises tuition, Enrollment drops, Still Making Plenty of Cash
- Guest Column from Hansoo Lee of Magoosh.com: SAT Scores are Falling – Now What?
- How Video Games Use Education and Learning Elements [Infographic]
MARKET INTRADAY SNAPSHOT
- Education & Tech Companies We Follow
Cost of Education, Domestic, Education Quality, Ethics, For-Profit, Regulatory, Required, Students, University & College - Mar 11, 2012 21:17 - 0 Comments
More In For-Profit
- Heard: MOOCs Growing From Stanford to Georgia Tech to MIT to Udacity and Udemy
- Heard: California Applies Headlock, Begins Clamp Down On For-Profit Colleges
- Heard: Capella University On The Ropes But Planning For A Comeback In Round 4
- Hungry Hippos: For-Profits Gobble Up Half of Military Education Benefits
- Researchers Find Students At For-Profit Colleges More Likely To Be Unemployed
Blended Learning, Domestic, Elementary / Primary / Junior, Flipped Classrooms, High school / Secondary 2, International, Open Source Education, Required, School teachers, Startups, Students, Technology - Mar 12, 2012 19:04 - 0 Comments
More In Technology
- Opinion: Online Tutoring Disrupting Traditional Tutor Model, But Expanding The Tutor Industry
- The “Mathlash”: Mathmeticians Strike Back Against Silicon Valley’s Foray Into Math Edu
- Shantanu Sinha of Khan Academy Explains The Gamification Approach of Khan
- Fast Company Ranks The 10 Most Innovative Education Companies
- Must See: Interactive Tour of the Universe — Online Tool for Teachers and Gawkers
Domestic, Education Quality, For-Profit, Friend, Fraud, or Fishy, Required, University & College - Feb 10, 2012 16:36 - 0 Comments
More In Friend, Fraud, or Fishy
- Infographic & Video: Is America Witnessing A Growing Education Bubble? Part II Of II
- Investigative Opinion: For-Profit Kaplan University’s $250 Million Payout To Former Executives
- Heard: Mitt Romney Takes Money From, Offers Praise To Full Sail University Leaders
- Heard: New York Attorney General Is Investigating Pearson Education – NYTimes.com
- Guest Column: A Response To Occupy Wall Street’s View Of Student Debt