Online and mobile education startup StudyBlue has just raised $9 million in its Series A-1 funding in a move that it hopes will help the company move forward with helping students generate study materials. The round was led by Great Oaks Venture Capital and participated in by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and its existing investors.
StudyBlue is a service that utilizes its mobile and social study platform to empower students seeking out a higher quality education through digital study resources. There are already more than 2.5 million students on the platform who have shared 100 million study materials across the Web, iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.
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Becky Splitt, StudyBlue’s CEO, said that the company is experiencing rapid growth. The investment will allow it to expand the community and platform in order to help students better understand the course material faster. As it stands right now, students who are proficient in the use of electronic devices such as iPads and iPhones are eager to transfer knowledge away from what’s in their backpack into their mobile device. Once students begin using the service, they can turn their study materials into flash cards and quizzes.
The company says that it has the “largest and fastest growing library of student generated study materials” available for higher education, with over 100 million items ranging from anthropology to zoology.
It’s important to note that StudyBlue is not a teaching tool or an eBook platform. The company says it’s a great way for students to learn the information that their teacher or textbook teaches them. Students can create, organize, collect, store, study, share, and master their materials in a digital way. Much of the material on StudyBlue comes directly from students. Teachers are able to join and add materials or integrate these lessons with theirs.
StudyBlue says that students voluntarily share information about themselves such as the school, class, and professor with it so that notifications can be distributed when a new classmate or shared study material is added. The service can also tag a student’s content in a similar manner.
With this new funding, StudyBlue now has $14.8 million in total funding. The company says that it will be “heads down” and will continue to “invest its time on expanding mobile functionality, scaling the team, operations, and support service to keep up with accelerating growth.” This includes making edits to the user interface while also coming up with ways to increase its 15% international user base.
The company says it plans on making money through a freemium model leveraging ad revenue and premium subscriptions. The core functionality is free for anyone and those who want “advanced functionality” like equation editors, advanced search filters, or simply to remove ads from appearing, can pay a subscription fee.
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