Not many people enjoy studying and would welcome just about anything that made it easier and even slightly more enjoyable. Well, those people’s prayers may have just been answered thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and Quizlet, one of the most popular used digital study aids in the United States.
Already the San-Francisco-based startup has as many as 1 in every 2 high school students and 1 in every 3 college students visiting its site every month. But those numbers may be about to get even better as the firm managed to raise a staggering $20 million in funding this week led by Icon Ventures. Altos Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Owl Ventures, and Costanoa Ventures also invested in the study app.
Quizlet was founded back in 2005, so is not exactly new on the scene. For many years the company has been best known for its digital flashcards. However in 2015 that began to change when the firm secured its first real amount of funding in the form of $12 million from a group of venture capitalists.
At the moment Quizlet has been putting a lot of time and money into Quizlet Learn – an AI-powered application that enables users to create free study plans. The user simply chooses a study set that they wish to master and the date by which they want to have this done. The AI then churns out a set of study materials and quizzes to help them do that.
Moving forward the company wants to refine its AI tool. We will “continue building our machine learning and data science team to build out models of learning that are domain-specific”, said Quizlet CEO Matt Glotzbach. At the moment the company employs around 70 staff. By the summer, however, they would like to be employing around 120.
Icon Ventures is excited to be getting on board with Quizlet. “This is one of the largest investments we’ve made in our history,” said Jeb Miller, a general partner at Icon Ventures. Even though technically Quizlet is still in the red, that doesn’t seem to bother Miller. “As an investor, we love that there is a diversity of revenue streams depending on which one is most effective for different segments,” he says. The company “isn’t trying to monetize from younger students, but as they move onto college and continuing education there are more appropriate ways that make sense.”