Starting a business that uses a popular experience for a new purpose has continued to attract investors for Grockit. The company applies social networking and gaming techniques to the educational process.
Students use Grockit to work together on sample test problems. The Grockit system creates a game environment by awarding points and badges. Grockit’s social motivation study platform was launched in 2008. It has expanded into products for Kindergarten through Grade 12 over the past two years.
In September of this year, Grockit integrated with Facebook’s Open Graph API, thus giving students the same access to a learning system as they have for entertainment with Zynga’s Farmville. In fact, Zynga CEO, Mark Pincus, was an early angel investor in Grockit. The new $7,000,000 raised by Grockit brings total outside capital investment from angels and venture capital firms to $24,700,000.
Grockit intends to use the new funding to expand internationally. The company reports significant adoption in India. According to Grockit executives, 25 percent of students taking the GMAT in India used the company’s learning platform. Consequently, a push is underway to fuel growth in foreign markets by further development of social and gaming mechanics that enhance user engagement.
The company has introduced a program called Grockit for Good, which matches every purchased account with one year of free access for a student in an under-served area. In addition, Grockit teamed with the Gates Foundation and the Kauffman Foundation to launch the Startup Weekend EDU series.
Grockit is expanding by providing content on more K through12 subjects. The company competes with large book publishers and test preparation companies that are gradually adding digital products. Much of the Grockit content is licensed from other publishers, but partners also create original content. Competitive rivals face the challenge of Grockit’s early technological advantages.