Founders Fund-Backed Knewton And Other Education-Tech Companies Move to the Head of the Class

10/19/11Follow @jpruth

School is in session with education technology startups earning good grades from investors. Last Thursday, New York’s Knewton raised $33 million in a funding round led by Founders Fund and education and media company Pearson. The new cash will go towards further development of Knewton’s adaptive learning platform, which customizes education content for each student. The investment also speaks to a broader interest among investors in backing startups that use technology to revamp the way students learn.

Knewton thus far has raised $54 million in total funding according to chief operating officer David Liu. Other investors in the latest round include Accel Partners, FirstMark Capital, and Bessemer Venture Partners.

Much in the vein of Pandora recommending music based on interest and on-the-fly feedback, Knewton’s learning platform tailors education content to the student based on difficulty level and other factors. The platform creates a profile of each student who logs in and suggests new material to them as they progress in class. “We are building an algorithm around adaptive learning,” Liu says.

The investor community has taken a shine to other education technology companies as well. For example, three-year-old 2tor in New York raised … Next Page »

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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