Deals

Clipboard’s new strategy takes on traditional research methods

Clipboards have served many purposes in classrooms over the years. They help with taking attendance, project signups, and in one alarming case, for hitting a deviant algebra student over the head.

In a less violent and more productive demonstration of clipboard capabilities, online web clipping service Clipboard has struck an investment deal with Scientia, an enterprise software company that provides tools to institutions of higher education.

On Clipboard, users clip items from around the web and organize them on “boards.” Rather than importing a link or an image, users select the specific zone they want to keep, which makes it easier to save things like a tweet, forum thread, or product description.

The platform is comparable to that of Pinterest, Evernote, and Springpad. Uses include personal collections, containing recipes and clothing items, and work-related purposes. The boards can private or shared, and you can use them to collaborate on projects. You can annotate and tag them, and they can sync across desktop and mobile devices.

This strategic investment with Scientia is in an effort to move Clipboard’s offering into a new vertical and make it a solution geared towards researching private and professional content.

“Since we can ‘clip’ anything on the web, this will be extremely beneficial in the education space, for instance professors pulling together coursework materials, students researching a paper and study groups brainstorming project ideas,” said CEO Gary Flake in an email. “Scientia helps more than 400 top universities and more than 10 million students outside of the US organize academic life and we are confident this new partnership will help us add value to the research, collaboration and creation of ideas in education.”

Scientia’s software is used by major universities around the world. Its suite of applications include planning, timetable and exam scheduling, progress tracking, and workload organizational tools. A statement issued by Clipboard said this funding “marks the beginning of a joint product development effort by Clipboard and Scientia that will focus on advancing the state-of-the-art in online collaboration and extending it into the education market.”

Clipboard received $1.5 million from top tier investors Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurveston, and SV Angel, among others. It launched to the public on May 31 and now claims to have more than 100,000 registered users who have saved more than 1.7 million clips. The terms of this deal are undisclosed, although it makes Scientia the largest individual investor.

It seems the days of physical documentation are slowly ebbing away. Notebooks, bulletin boards, to-do lists, photo albums, and filing cabinets will soon be relics of a time gone by. Soon, they will be function primarily as vintage home decor (or weaponry) as digital versions gain traction with the mainstream population.

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