Online educational startup Knewton has raised $6 million in Series B financing from Bessemer Venture Partners and returning investors, which include VC firms Accel Partners and First Round Capital as well as several angel investors who had participated in the $2.5 million Series A round from May 2008, such as LinkedIn founder and CEO Reid Hoffman and Zenbe co-founder Peter Stern.
The company says it will use the extra capital to better serve both the enterprise market (where it says demand for its adaptive learning engine is growing) and end consumers with its online test preparation services.
When Erick reviewed the service late last year, he wrote:
Adaptive learning tests are taken on computers. The questions get progressively harder or easier depending on each student’s answers. Thus, they adapt to each student’s knowledge and abilities. Knewton is taking the adaptive learning concept and applying it first to online test preparation services.
The service combines live video chat with an instructor in a whiteboard environment, along with learn-at-your-own-pace sample questions and tutorials. Knewton finds the best teachers it can get and pays them $500 to $800 an hour. In addition to the virtual classroom, Knewton keeps track of each student’s progress in mastering the thousand or so concepts that can be covered in each test. A “concept queue” keeps the students abreast of what concepts they have mastered and which ones they are weak on. They can click on each concept tag to dig deeper.
Read the full review here (it digs pretty deep).