Today PandoDaily reported that Boundless Learning raised an additional $8 million from Venrock. We’re curious to see what they will do with the funding next, as the company aims to shake up the textbook market.
It’s no secret that the textbook market is ripe for disruption. At our Technapex mixer last week, moderator Josh Constine asked panelists what education business is most in need of disruption and you didn’t have to listen hard to hear the crowd murmur “textbooks!”
Boundless Learning pulls together content from free sources and delivers it to students for free who want a cheaper option–essentially replacing the traditional textbook. At a time when students are struggling with loan debt and tuition hikes, textbook prices have also been rapidly increasing. As PandoDaily put it, “textbook prices have increased at three times inflation for the last 30 years, topped only by tobacco, health care, and tuition.”
We think Boundless Learning has the potential to really shake up the textbook industry. Reading about Boundless Learning’s goal to help students study and also save money reminds me of the blog post, “Why Education Startups Do Not Succeed.” The post explains that many education tech startups are doomed because they fail to realize that the majority of the country sees education as an expenditure rather than an investment. Boundless Learning is taking a step in the right direction by instead making educational materials more accessible and cheaper for students. While this is something many major textbook publishers will not be happy about (three of the four top publishers have already filed copyright infringement complaints) Boundless seems confident and ready to take on the big guys. We’ll be watching to see how this plays out.