Curious.com said Thursday that it has secured $15 million in Series B funding. GSV Capital led the round with participation from return backers Redpoint Ventures, Bill Campbell and Jesse Rogers. Concurrent with the funding, Michael Moe, chairman and CEO of GSV, will join Curious.com’s board of directors. Based in Menlo Park, Calif., Curious.com is a learning marketplace.
Menlo Park, CA – February 13, 2014 — Curious.com, the marketplace for lifelong learning with thousands of video lessons on topics as varied as how to sew, pilates for beginners and how to use Excel, today announced that it has received $15 Million in Series B funding. The round was led by GSV Capital with participation from all previous investors including Redpoint Ventures, Bill Campbell, and Jesse Rogers. GSV Chairman and CEO, Michael Moe, will join the Curious.com board of directors as Curious continues to add more quality lessons and aggressively grow its global base of teachers and learners.
Now offering more than 5,000 lessons from over 700 teachers, Curious today debuts the next phase of its marketplace by offering two new ways for teachers to make money. In addition to selling single lessons, teachers can bundle lessons into “Courses,” providing learners with a discount on a series of ordered lessons around a specific goal, project or theme. Also launching today, learners now have the opportunity at the end of each lesson to send the teacher a note with an optional “Tip” to show appreciation for great learning experiences.
“Curious seems to have struck a nerve with lifelong learners around the world since we launched last May. Thousands of people from all walks of life are turning to the teachers in the Curious community to pursue their passions,” said Justin Kitch, CEO and co-founder of Curious.com. “This enthusiasm has enabled us to start turning our outstanding teachers into entrepreneurs ahead of our original schedule.”
Tips Now Accepted
Beginning today, Curious learners can send their teachers a “Tip” to show their appreciation, just as they might a ski instructor or piano teacher. Upon completion of each Curious lesson, learners have the option of sending 1, 2 or 5 Curious Coins along with a “Love this Lesson” icon that is displayed on the teacher’s profile. It is an added way for Curious learners to thank teachers and show their love of learning.
Courses Open on Everything from Philosophy to Programming to Piano
The Curious marketplace was designed to give the world’s best teachers a unique platform for sharing and monetizing “bite-sized” lessons. Today, Curious also introduced Courses, a way for those lessons to be bundled in a sequence so learners can master more comprehensive skills and topics. Curious also announced the first 50 Courses are available immediately at www.curious.com/courses.
Courses are perfect for someone who wants to learn a foreign language, take up a musical instrument, make a movie, or try surfing for the first time. Comprised of topics that require multiple, sequential lessons, courses offer a way for a learners to immerse themselves in a skill. While related lessons have existed on Curious before, now they can be presented in a specific order and purchased as a bundle for a discounted rate as a Curious Course. Prices range from $9 – $49 per Course, contain between 5 and 30 lessons, and like all Curious lessons, belong to the learner for life. Beyond pricing discounts, Courses come with a variety of added benefits, such as bonus lessons that are not available outside of the bundle and greater access to teachers for more in-depth interactions.
The Appeal of Lifelong Learning
The addition of Courses and Tips continues to enhance the Curious platform. Curious also recently introduced its universal iOS app, available in the iTunes store and at curious.com/app, to allow learning to take place anytime, anywhere. In addition, Curious launched the Curious 52 Challenge, in which lifelong learners complete a designated lesson every week during 2014.
“Today’s learners are increasingly enthralled with Curious, which enables exploration and learning on almost any topic you can imagine. We partnered with Curious because we share the vision that lifelong learning can be casual, fun, and truly life-enriching,” said Mr. Moe. “We look forward to helping Justin and the Curious team continue to innovate, as they transform the online learning space and introduce the world to the Curious way of learning.”
“We appreciate GSV’s support and believe that the firm, with Michael’s leadership, is the ideal partner to help us realize our aggressive growth objectives while maintaining the quirky and fun brand of learning that has made Curious a hit so far,” noted Mr. Kitch.
“I’ve known Justin since he started Homestead and what he is building at Curious is even more exciting,” added Tim Haley, general partner at Redpoint Ventures. “Curious broadens what it means to be a learner in a way that is enticing for people of all ages while attracting and rewarding great teachers. The opportunity is huge and the company’s growth rate is a testament to its value.”
To help people discover their love of learning, Curious offers every new member a free lesson and three Curious coins to apply towards future lessons upon registration. To learn more and to start your own lifelong learning adventure, please visit curious.com.
About CuriousFounded in 2012, Curious.com, Inc. offers an innovative and engaging marketplace that connects lifelong learners with exceptional teachers around the world. Curious is home to short-format video-based, interactive lessons that help anyone learn about anything on their own time. It also provides a range of free, easy-to-use tools for teachers that enable them to market, share, and monetize their lessons to millions of learners. Curious is a private company funded by Redpoint Ventures, GSV Capital, Bill Campbell, Jesse Rogers and Justin Kitch based in Menlo Park, CA. For more information visit www.curious.com.