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BenchPrep, the company that creates entire digital courses for high school and college students, is aiming to up its 100-course portfolio to 500 by year’s end.
The company hopes to accomplish this goal with a $6 million round of funding it announced today led by New Enterprise Associates and Revolution Ventures.
BenchPrep launched in July 2011 after spinning out from educational app developer Watermelon Express. The company creates digital courses based on education material from an arsenal of more than 20 publishers, including McGraw Hill, Wiley (which creates the Cliff Notes series), and Princeton Review. BenchPrep turns content from these publishers into interactive digital lessons for high school and college students, as well as test prep such as the SATs and GMATs.
Publisher content isn’t all you’ll find in a BenchPrep session, however. The company also recently added YouTube and Wikipedia as supplemental material, accessible through a pop-up window over highlighted words. This move helped recognize the legitimacy of the information found in free-content portals.
These lessons exist on the desktop, phone, or iPad and can sync between all three devices. So if you’re in the middle of a BenchPrep session on your iPad but need to get off the train, you can save it and pick up exactly where you left off if you open it up on your laptop later.
Around 250,000 students use BenchPrep, and they log around nine hours of engaged use a month.
Pricing varies per course. Chicago-based BenchPrep is also backed by Lightbank, a venture fund run by Groupon co-founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell.