Sequoia-Backed Inkling Updates iPad E-Textbook Platform With Collaborative Study Groups And More

Sequoia-backed Inkling, a startup that develops an innovative digital textbook platform, is is releasing version 2.0 of its technology, which comes with increased collaboration and sharing features.

As we’ve written in the past, 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.

The newest version of the platform has made established ‘Study Groups’ within tectbooks, where students can ask questions and add comments anywhere in the book with classmates, professors and others who are reading the same book using Inkling. Inkling has also added ‘expert’ notes to the book, allowing students to get access to their notes and comments.
All notes, highlights, bookmarks and links created by students are now saved in a designated notebook. And search results within Inkling’s platform from Wikipedia or Google appear directly in your book, which can also be saved to a notebook.

Currently, Inkling has fifty adopting educational institutions requiring the e-textbook platform. And the company announced funding and partnerships from some of the top educational publishers, including Pearson and McGraw Hill.

Of course, the e-textbook space is competitive with Chegg, Kno, Amazon and many others all competing in the arena. But Inkling founder and CEO Matt MacInnis isn’t too worried. While he admits that some competitors have more content, he believes that Inkling’s platform is the most interactive, engaging technology on the market. For now, MacInnis is sticking to the iPad as Inkling’s platform of choice, but will eventually expand to other devices.

The company has also attracted big venture money as well. A few weeks ago, Inkling announced a $17 million round, bringing the startup’s total funding to $32 million, including its Seed and Series A rounds as well as the multi-million dollar infusion from publishers.