Deals

Grockit raises $7M for social networkers who want to, gasp, study

Some kids might want to avoid this social network at all costs. But for the studious, Grockit has created a social network for learning and collaboration. For that purpose, the company has raised $7 million in a round of funding that it’s announcing today.

The round was led by Atlas Venture with participation from existing investors Benchmark Capital and Integral Capital Partners. The idea is to leverage the social benefits of the internet to improve academic achievement and extend learning outside the classroom. It also leverages lessons of online gaming with a focus on fun and accessibility, said Farb Nivi (pictured), founder and chief executive of San Francisco-based Grockit.

This month, the company is entering 8-12 grade educational market with the goal of fighting learning loss that happens each summer with the Grockit Summer Enrichment Academy. Students can use it to study English Language Arts, pre-Algebra, Algebra I and II, Geometry, Calculus, Probability and Statistics, Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus. The company has a free introductory program and then charges fees for course work ranging from $79 to $299.

Today, the company has more than 100,000 users around the globe who study on the network at all hours. The platform has diagnostic, prescriptive and adaptive features for students to get an individual learning experience. Nivi is a former Princeton Review teacher and academic director at testing firm Kaplan.

It’s another company that is trying to bring education into the digital age. Rivals include K-12, Knewton, Princeton Review, and Kaplan. Grockit cites a survey that showed that students agree that access to digital media tools and the ability to collaborate with peers, inside and outside of school, can help a lot. Grockit is web-based and it pinpoints a childs academic strengths and weaknesses with an assessment engine. Then it generates a study plan for the student and tracks the student’s progress. It adapts the study plan based on the progress.

Grockit was founded in 2007 and has 23 employees. Angel investors include Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, and Mark Pincus, chief executive of Zynga. To date, the company has raised $17.8 million.

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