College textbook publisher Flat World Knowledge has secured $15 million in Series B funding from Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI) and Bessemer Venture Partners, as well as Valhalla Partners, GSA Venture Partners, High Peaks Venture Partners, and other angel investors.
Flat World provides educational materials online for free. Students can read peer-reviewed textbooks in their entirety online for free or can purchase print and digital versions of textbooks. The company profits through the sale of its print books, ebooks for devices such as the iPad and the Kindle, audio books, PDF downloads, and interactive study aids.
More than 1,600 professors from more than 900 colleges, including Cornell University and California State University, have adopted Flat World texts. About 100,000 students from 44 countries, including India, the U.K., Australia, and China, are using the company's textbooks this academic year.
Flat World's current catalog of textbooks includes subjects such as business and economics. The company hopes to expand its catalog using this latest round of funding to include books for the 125 highest enrolled courses on college campuses. It recently published titles for three of the largest general education courses: Introduction to Sociology, Introduction to Psychology, and College Success, which have a combined enrollment of more than 4 million students annually. It also hopes to publish new textbooks for subjects such as English Composition, algebra, chemistry, and the American government.