Two Boston-area education companies announced a strategic partnership Wednesday, as well as some newfound funding. Textbook publisher Cengage Learning will be integrating Flashnotes into the company’s immersive learning platform MindTap. With that, Cengage disclosed it will be leading Flashnotes’ Series B round through a multi-million dollar investment in the company.
Although the exact dollar amount of Flashnotes’ Series B has not been disclosed, the startup did share the list of investors participating. Joining Cengage Learning in the round were: Lazerow Ventures, Atlas Venture, KAHM Capital, Softbank Capital, Stage One Ventures, Campus Agency, Lou Latiff and Michael Solomon.
MindTap provides a personalized teaching and learning experience, and offers courses built on Cengage Learning content. Each course features a variety of “MindApps,” that range from interactive assignments and quizzing to flashcards, plagiarism checking and file sharing.
By partnering with Flashnotes, MindTap users will gain access to the startup’s course-specific student-to-student study materials, comprised of study guides, notes, flashcards, video tutorials and live video help.
“Our partnership with Flashnotes will enable us to enhance the higher ed learning experience in a way that reflects the way students work and study, with content generated by the students themselves,” said Cengage Chief Product Officer Jim Donohue in a statement. “It is the sharing economy at work in education.”
With Flashnotes, students have the ability to set the price for the study materials they sell, as well as earn commission off each sale, paid to them on a weekly basis. Last fall, the startup announced live video tutorials, meaning students could start making money by offering live one-on-one tutoring sessions. Most materials sell for less than $10, according to the Boston Globe, although “a 23-page study guide for the final in a management course at Boston University sold on Flashnotes for $73 in May.”
Through the partnership, professors will gain a say in whether their students can sell notes on Cengage’s new service. Educators using MindTap will be able to activate or deactivate the function — an option that isn’t available via Flashnotes.
“Under the terms of the partnership,” according to the Boston Globe, “Flashnotes and Cengage will split 30 percent of the proceeds of each sale, with the student sellers keeping 70 percent.”
“Our partnership with Cengage Learning recognizes the importance of student-created content in helping today’s college students excel academically,” said Matousek in a statement. “Cengage Learning is leading a transformative change in education that will benefit students in a profound way, and we’re excited they’ve chosen the Flashnotes.com platform to provide them with highly relevant, student-created content.”
Flashnotes has raised $6.9 million since its founding in 2009.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this piece was waiting on comment from Flashnotes, and did not state fellow investors.
Image via Flickr user rhodesj (CC BY 2.0)