But Karel's about to learn new tricks, thanks to a fresh round of funding for its owners. CodeHS, based in San Francisco, has raised $1.75 million in a seed round from Learn Capital, the NewSchools Seed Fund, Kapor Capital, Chmod Ventures, the Stanford-StartX Fund, Seven Peaks Ventures and angel investors.
Founded in 2012, the Imagine K12 graduate provides high schools with a computer science "class in a box." Instructional materials are all web-based and include video tutorials and coding exercises where students give commands to Karel (who accompanied the team's roadtrip across US schools in 2013). Co-founder Jeremy Keeshin says the company has worked with over 10,000 teachers around the world.
These tools, along with teacher dashboards and basic support, are available to schools who purchase the "basic" membership, which ranges from $45 to $66 per student, per year. (Keeshin adds schools can sign up for a year-long class for $2,000.) CodeHS also provides professional development and personal tutoring from its network of nearly 100 college computer science students. These are available for additional fees, which are neatly laid out.
With the funding, the team expand its offerings beyond introductory courses and roll out an AP Java course on March 1. Also in the pipeline are web development and online teacher training courses. More details are available in the company's blog.