Bite-size knowledge entices substantial cash
The idea behind Stanford company EdCast seems fairly straight forward: get experts to share their knowledge by live broadcast and video. But unlike most edtech companies that raise money slowly, EdCast seems to be gaining a lot of momentum.
Late Wednesday, the startup announced that it raised $16 million in Series B funding. This is a significant jump from their Series A of $6 million in 2014, with some heavy hitters backing them. The new round was led by GE Asset Management with SoftBank (which led the Series A), Cervin, Stanford StartX Fund and Penta Global joining in.
“We are laser focused on our mission to expand the knowledge economy with curated, contextual bite-size knowledge,” EdCast CEO Karl Mehta said in a statement to the press. “Millennials in the workplace along with the complexity of engaging and educating customers and partners is creating the need for daily relevant insights from the world’s foremost experts and leaders in a variety of industries, from tech, business and entrepreneurship to security, politics, STEM, health and more.”
The network provides live feeds for influencers and to provide “bite-size insights” (SmartBites), as well as a greater list of channels called “Knowledge Networks” that can either be subject-focused or revolve around the products and services of specific companies. EdCast recently came to an agreement with HP to amplify that channel, which already has some 500,000 users according to the startup. GE is also one of their corporate clients, alongside EMC and Salesforce.
“I started the company to enable millions of people across the globe to become lifelong learners in the subjects that matter most to them,” Mehta tells Geektime. “While Facebook and LinkedIn do offer content, their focus is not on making people smarter in their roles and the general noise level is so high that they are not useful tools in enterprise for micro learning.”
Last September, the company launched its 10 Minute Insight series, a free service which includes talks by Sun co-founder Scott McNealy, Dan Cohen of TechStars and Mercedes-Nez R&D CEO Arwed Niestroj. On the Indian front, they recently held a social impact-themed hackathon called Code for India which saw 1,0000 people in attendance.
“The main goal of our platform is to offer individuals and enterprises access to both the top business minds and passionate individuals alike, giving them the opportunity to learn and hone their skills at their own pace and from a diverse knowledge pool.”
They currently have 55 employees with offices in Mountain View, California, and Mumbai.