News + Ideas
Grockit Raises $7 Million to Drive Social Learning
October 17, 2011
Previous Backers Lead Round; NewSchools Venture Fund and Michael Moe of GSV Capital Make First Investments in Grockit
SAN FRANCISCO, CA. (October 17, 2011) – Grockit, a social learning company, announced today that it has received just over $7 million in Series D venture funding led by Atlas Venture, a current investor in the company. Benchmark Capital and Integral Capital Partners, both return investors, also participated in the round, along with new investors NewSchools Venture Fund and Michael Moe from GSV Capital. The funding will be used to support Grockit’s growth both domestically and internationally. The company’s total outside investment to date is over $24 million since 2007.
“Technology like Grockit’s has the power to transform the way students learn,” said Jennifer Carolan, Associate Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund. “When we invest in companies, we look for meaningful innovation in the education sector, the potential for big impact and a strong management team. Grockit meets all these criteria and it adds to them a very happy customer base. We’re thrilled to support the team at Grockit.”
Improving scores through social learning
Today’s students use technology to communicate, play games, share videos and more. Grockit combines the online tools students are already using, such as social networking and gaming, with an adaptive learning platform, to help students better prepare for college entrance exams, including the SAT, ACT, GMAT, LSAT, and GRE. Compared to independent studiers, social learners on Grockit spend 30 percent more time solving problems, solve more than twice as many problems, and are 10 percent more likely to answer questions correctly.
“The education sector is due to be transformed by a new wave of disruptive companies. Grockit has built a framework for social learning that will engage millions of college-bound students across the globe,” said Michael Moe, Founder and CEO of GSV Capital. “Grockit is ambitious; they’re focused on extending studying where students currently socialize online; and they have a plan to significantly grow the universe of online social learners.”
Expanding its base of customers around the world
In addition to the products available at www.grockit.com, the company is also partnering with higher education institutions to provide test prep as part of an academic institution’s study aids. This month, Georgetown University will begin providing students and alumni with access to Grockit’s GRE, GMAT and LSAT test prep programs. In the coming months, Grockit will be rolling out similar programs with universities in the U.S. and around the world.
“Grockit has made all the right moves to become a dominant player in this space,” said Jeff Fagnan, Partner at Atlas Venture. “Grockit is at the epicenter of the education technology space, and we’re excited about the future for the company.”
In the last month, Grockit has:
- Surpassed 10,000,000 questions answered by learners,
- Integrated with Facebook’s updated Open Graph API to make studying more social,
- Introduced a “one–for–one” business model to help under-resourced students achieve dreams of higher education,
- Expanded in India with a new product to help students prepare for the IIM-CAT, a required test for applying to India’s most prestigious management school,
- Added a new VP of Engineering to its growing management team,
- And, together with Startup Weekend and the Kauffman Foundation, announced a new Startup Weekend EDU series around the world.
“We’re growing quickly, and now is the time to accelerate the business. Every day, we add the equivalent of one American high school to our user base,” said Roy Gilbert, Grockit CEO. “While we continue to build from that momentum in the next year, our goals and focus will remain the same: to help more students learn by using the incredible power and scale of the Web.”
Grockit was created to improve academic achievement and extend learning outside of the classroom. By applying adaptive learning algorithms and innovative social networking and online gaming technologies, students experience a fun and engaging way to master academic skills and achieve personal best scores on standardized tests. The diagnostic, prescriptive and adaptive nature of the underlying Grockit platform ensures that each student receives a personalized learning experience, designed to help overcome areas of academic weakness. Founded in 2007 by Farb Nivi, a former Teacher of the Year for The Princeton Review and academic director at Kaplan, Grockit is headquartered in San Francisco and has received funding from Atlas Venture, Benchmark Capital, Integral Capital Partners and prominent angel investors including Reid Hoffman (founder, LinkedIn) and Mark Pincus (founder and CEO, Zynga). For more information, please visit www.grockit.com.