Yesterday, New York-based online education startup Knewton announced a big fundraising win with a $6 million B round.
Bessemer Ventures led the round and original investors Accel Partners, First Round Capital and angel investor Reid Hoffman put in some more money.
Knewton currently offers LSAT and GMAT prep courses online but the company is pursuing a much more ambitious vision. Its larger goal is to use its adaptive learning technology as a platform for online education that could be used by textbook publishers, schools, companies and other third parties. If the company pulls off this trick, it could be one hell of a business. After all, education is a multi-trillion industry.
“Education is the last of the information industries to move online,” says Knewton CEO Jose Ferreira, a former venture capitalist and derivatives trader at Goldman Sachs. “When it breaks, it breaks fast. And that’s going to happen in the next five years. All the education content will go online in the next 10 years. And textbooks will go away. The question is who is going to power that platform. It’s probably going to be one or two companies.”