Social learning startup Grockit has sealed an investment from Discovery Communications Inc., as part of a round that includes Summit Group, Atlas Venture, Benchmark Capital, Integral Capital Partners and GSV Capital Corp. Terms of the round were not released.
Grockit, the social learning company that introduced Learnist in May 2012, today announced that Discovery Communications, Inc., the world’s number one nonfiction media company will lead a new round of strategic investment that also includes participation from Summit Group, investors in Uber and Scribd, and previous investors Atlas Venture, Benchmark Capital, Integral Capital Partners and GSV Capital Corp. In addition to the capital investment, the relationship with Discovery also includes shared technology, as well as exploring marketing, distribution and promotion opportunities with Learnist. Discovery’s investment in Grockit represents the first social learning startup investment from a global leader in TV and digital media.
“As Discovery focuses its digital strategy around strengthening its position in video as the #1 nonfiction media company across all screens, we also see strategic growth opportunities in select investments in the next generation knowledge space,” said JB Perrette, Chief Digital Officer, Discovery Communications. “Discovery’s commitment to igniting people’s curiosity and passion for learning is a natural fit with Learnist’s unique knowledge platform and model that encourages passionate audiences to share what they know and learn what they don’t. Discovery is proud to lead this round of financing and excited about the many ways that our strategic investment will help to expand the reach and further development of the Learnist platform.”
The latest round of funding coincides with the launch of a re-designed Learnist website focused on highlighting its growing community of experts, including industry leaders like Bobby Chang, founder of In-Case, Clark Scheffy, founder of Ideo, and Eric Ries, the best selling author of The Lean Startup. With continued improvements to the user experience since launch, Learnist’s user base has increased by 400 percent, and user-engagement has doubled. The Learnist apps for iPhone and iPad have also been updated, and now enable users to create and add content to Learnist.
“With Learnist, we have found a way to build the most engaging and connected social learning experience ever. Discovery Communications shared our vision of connecting curious people everywhere with amazing content,” says Roy Gilbert, CEO of Grockit. “Our relationship will combine Learnist social learning technology with Discovery’s massive reach and footprint. Together, we look forward to encouraging more people to share what they know and learn from each other.”
Learnist was launched in May 2012 to encourage people to learn from and teach each other about a wide range of academic and casual learning topics. Users can curate digital and online resources into a media-rich board, called a Learn Board, to share their expert knowledge. Since the launch in May 2012, Learnist content and utility have developed quickly. Currently, 100 percent of US Common Core Standards for grades 7-12 are available on Learnist. Learnist for iPad and Learnist for iPhone were launched in September 2012 helping people learn about anything, anywhere. It was also included in TIME magazine’s best websites in 2012. Learnist is available for iPhone and iPad here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/learnist/id522850398. For more information please visit Learnist.com.
Grockit was founded to advance online social learning as the dominant instructional design for all human learning. Applying adaptive learning algorithms and innovative social networking and online gaming technologies, Grockit and Learnist users discover a fun and engaging learning experience. 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 Discovery Communications, Inc., Atlas Venture, Benchmark Capital, Integral Capital Partners, GSV Capital, Summit Series Action Fund, NewSchools Ventures and prominent angel investors, including Reid Hoffman (founder, LinkedIn) and Mark Pincus (founder and CEO, Zynga). For more information, please visit www.grockit.com.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world’s #1 nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.8 billion cumulative subscribers in 209 countries and territories. Discovery is dedicated to satisfying curiosity through 149 worldwide television networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science and Investigation Discovery, as well as U.S. joint venture networks OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, The Hub and 3net, the first 24-hour 3D network. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools and owns and operates a diversified portfolio of digital media services, including Revision3.