Class notes and peer learning community Course Hero has raised a $15 million Series A led by GSV Capital Corp. and IDG Capital, with participation of existing investors SV Angel and Maveron.
GSV Capital is one of the most active investors in education technology counting startups like 2U, Coursera, Declara, Knewton, General Assembly, Parchment, Dreambox Learning to its portfolio. IDG Capital recently invested in a $15 million Series C of Chinese test preparation platform Yuantiku.
Founded in 2006 by Andrew Grauer at Cornell University, Course Hero previously raised around $2 million in seed and angel funding in three rounds. The new funding will be used to grow the team and user base.
Class notes marketplaces have become a popular service among students even though there is still a notion that sharing or even selling class notes and other study resources is borderline cheating and should therefore be banished.
Nevertheless, edtech startups like Course Hero have managed to build sizeable audiences, raise venture capital and get exits. Notehall got acquired by Chegg, NoteUtopia and Moolaguides got acquired by Flashnotes, which itself is a class notes marketplace.
Course Hero’s $15 million Series A from two leading VC firms shows that the vertical is on the upswing as it also fits well into the broader theme of the sharing economy which is represented by so called unicorns like home rental platform airbnb and ride sharing provider Uber.
It might also be seen as a reaction to Brainly’s entrance in the US market. Founded in 2009 in Krakow, Poland Brainly has created a global network of homework help sites across Europe and Asia, totaling more than 30 million students. Brainly raised a €9 million Series A last month and opened an office in New York City.
Course Hero has over 5 million users at universities and high schools worldwide which have access to more than 7 million course-specific notes, study guides, and practice tests via the site as well as homework help from expert tutors and customizable flashcards.