LEARNZILLION: Washington, DC-based LearnZillion said today that it has raised $13 million from 13 investors including DCM Ventures and Owl Ventures for its open education resources, namely Common Core-aligned math and English curriculum. LearnZillion says that its software is already being used by one in four K-12 teachers across the US, representing 15,000 schools and 2,000 districts.
Although its curriculum is free, LearnZillion plans to charge districts professional development fees to support the implementation of those lessons. Think of it as "RedHat" for schools, say company leaders, referring to the for-profit company that built a support structure around the free operating system, Linux.
LearnZillion is building out a full K-8 math curriculum based on the work of 140 math teachers from 38 states. LearnZillion calls these teachers its "Dream Team." It brought them together this summer to develop lessons.
LearnZillion, which was founded in 2011, had previously raised $10 million, bringing the total capital raised to $23 million. Its board includes cofounders Eric Westendorf (CEO) and Alix Guerrier (President), both of whom had been a principal and teacher. Other board members include: Rob Hutter (Learn Capital), Mark Jacobsen (OATV), Peter Moran (DCM), independent directors Andrew Klingstein and Joanne Weiss (formerly chief of staff at the US Department of Education).