Brightstorm Raises $6 Million Series A

Brightstorm, a San Francisco-based online learning network for teens, has raised $6 million in Series A funding from KTB Ventures.


Brightstorm today launched a new online learning network for teens that offers video-based courses designed and taught by expert classroom teachers from across the U.S. The company also announced that it has secured $6M in Series A financing from KTB.


The growing demand for better education, mass broadband adoption and a new generation of digitally savvy teens is driving the demand and opportunity for new learning models, services and technologies. Brightstorm was founded to advance this new learning economy through an online learning network that maps to the way teens consume content online.


“Great learning happens because of great teachers,” said Jeff Marshall, CEO and co-founder of Brightstorm. “By giving teachers a new channel to reach millions of teens and to express their creativity and expertise, we’re creating a new model for learning opportunities to flourish. Our mission is to give parents, teens and teachers a platform for advancing education by making great learning happen all the time and delivering it in a way that maps to the interests and habits of today’s digitally savvy teens. If we can deliver on this mission, we passionately believe that we can have a major impact on the overall learning economy.”


Brightstorm features experienced teachers from across the country in video-based courses covering a variety of subjects, including math, writing, history and AP and SAT test prep. Teens can choose their own teacher and teaching style for each subject, and take courses at their own pace in order to improve their grades, succeed when struggling, and better prepare for college. The Brightstorm learning network also features interactive elements and bonus materials, including practice problems, quizzes, study guides and forums.


Brightstorm’s founding team has decades of combined education, technology and eLearning experience, and has joined forces to advance a new vision for learning. The company’s vision is based on the idea that teens are eager for a new learning channel that corresponds with their online lifestyles. By creating a learning network to bring together great teachers and teens, while offering a high level of choice, personalization and high-quality content, Brightstorm seeks to advance the learning economy, and in the process, shape the future of education.


Brightstorm’s founding team includes:


Jeff Marshall, CEO & co-founder – Jeff’s educational technology expertise stems from his time at Convergys (formerly DigitalThink), where he served as senior principal prior to co-founding Brightstorm. He has also held the role of product development manager at LeapFrog Enterprises, a leading educational company. Before that, Jeff taught humanities, math, English and Spanish at public schools in California and Arizona.


Chris Fitzgerald Walsh, Chief Learning Officer & co-founder – Chris specializes in eLearning product development, technology-enhanced classroom instruction and education reform. He has held director positions at WestEd, a leading K-12 services organization, KIPP, a college-prep-focused network of charter schools, and with the Google Teacher Academy, a professional development program geared toward helping K-12 educators get the most from Web 2.0 tools. Chris also spent eight years teaching middle school and working as an education technology coordinator.


Bum Soo Kim, Chief Operating Officer & co-founder – Bum Soo brings deep experience in both operations and venture investing to Brightstorm. Prior to Brightstorm, Bum Soo was a principal at KTB, one of the largest venture capital firms based out of Korea. During his time there, Bum Soo focused on investments in wireless communications, consumer electronics and Internet media and services. Bum Soo also has a successful track record of customer engagements and business development in the IT business division of Samsung Corporation.


About Brightstorm

Brightstorm is advancing the learning economy through an online learning network that empowers teens, teachers and parents to shape the future of education. Brightstorm helps teens do better in school through video-based courses, taught by expert teachers and offered in short, personalized formats. Brightstorm’s online learning network gives great classroom teachers a new channel to reach and inspire millions of teens, while providing teens with anytime/anywhere access to outstanding learning experiences that map to their interests and increasingly savvy digital consumption behavior. The net result is a powerful network where teens learn more, expert teachers are able to reach more students, and parents can play a more active role in building their kids’ confidence in school. Brightstorm is a venture-backed company based in San Francisco, CA. For more information, please visit