Inkling, a startup that develops an innovative digital textbook platform, has scored a ‘multi-million dollar investment from educational content giants McGraw-Hill and Pearson. Current investors Sequoia Capital, Felicis Ventures, Kapor Capital, and Sherpalo Ventures also participated in the financing. The company, which previously raised an undisclosed Series A round of funding in August 2010, declined to reveal the exact amount of funding raised in this round.
Inkling’s technology delivers interactive textbooks that include the ability to collaborate, add multimedia and communicate within content. The startup adds another layer to online textbooks by adding 3-D objects, video, quizzes, and even social interaction within the content. Inkling’s sync technology lets students collaborate in real time by sharing their notes and highlights with one another. And students can see comments from their friends and professors right alongside their own notes.
Clearly, an investment from textbook publishers like McGraw-Hill and Pearson is a big endorsement for the fledgling company which only launched last year. Both publishers have also committed to build interactive editions of their top titles for the Inkling platform. Inkling has also struck similar deals with a number of other higher education publishers, including John Wiley & Sons, W. W. Norton and Wolters Kluwer.
As we wrote last November, Inkling launched an iPad app to show the power of its platform. The app, which featured a photography textbook, includes over 100 videos, interactive diagrams to help you understand the effect of lighting and equipment settings, workshop videos, high resolution images, and the full text of the original book. Within the book, you can watch videos from the author’s lighting and photography workshop and commentary on his photography and how he captures his images.
Inkling’s deals with McGraw-Hill and Pearson are comprehensive. Inkling will feature the top 100 undergraduate titles from McGraw-Hill Higher Education as well as medical education and reference content from McGraw-Hill Professional. Pearson will be using Inkling to feature its MBA curriculum, as well as a number of undergraduate arts and sciences titles.