Desmos started its life as a browser-based whiteboard experience, but ended up transitioning almost exclusively to its online calculator function. It’s free, advanced, user-friendly, and pretty darn fun, even for people who don’t care for math all that much.
I remember needing to use those bulky graphing calculators in algebra and geometry class, and some classes went so far as to make them required purchases. At the time, those suckers cost over $100, and the parents who purchased them were disappointed to find that their kids were using them to play games in class. Tetris and Snake were my favorites.
Desmos is an easy alternative to those giant calculators, and a company like Texas Instruments might wish to take note of this startup making waves with edtech investors. Desmos launched at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC last year, which attracted the attention of Mitch Kapor, Learn Capital, and Kindler Capital, who invested a total of $800,000 in the company. Earlier this week, the company revealed some additional funding from Google Ventures which brings their funding to over $1 million.
According to TechCrunch,
“Although Desmos isn’t ready to reveal metrics or the size of its user base, Luberoff did say that the team has been surprised and pleased with the level of engagement it’s seeing from kids who are spending hours (and sometimes even weeks) creating graphs. Desmos is on a mission to help young people learn to love math again, and Google Ventures, for one, sees a lot of potential in the startup’s ability to play a role in the improvement of STEM education in the U.S.”
I may not be a numbers-oriented person, but I can see the allure of figuring out the mathematical expression of the Batman symbol or a Legend of Zelda Triforce. (Don’t you love it when Yahoo! Answers satisfies your curiosity about obscure questions?)
Of course, the platform isn’t just there to get kids graphing their favorite pop culture symbols. Desmos’ goal is to get kids learning math and have fun along the way. It’s clear that the team is also targeting relatively older students who enroll in algebra and geometry classes, as opposed to app developers who create mobile math games for very young children. This arguably makes Desmos’ goal more challenging, as many students’ appreciation for math tends to taper off during the middle school and high school years.
With state educational organizations recommending a nationwide push away from paper and into the digital world, Desmos seems poised to capitalize on a potential mass exodus of math students to the web.