Discovery Communications will lead a new investment round in social learning company Grockit. Other investors include Summit Group, investors in Uber and Scribd, and previous investors Atlas Venture, Benchmark Capital, Integral Capital Partners and GSV Capital Corp.
Grockit launched Learnist in May 2012. The site allows users to learn from and teach each other users about a wide range of academic and casual subjects. Since launch, Learnist's user base has increased by 40%, and user-engagement has doubled.
The Grockit investment reflects Discovery's ongoing expansion in the educational market. As part of the investment, Grockit noted that its relationship with Discovery includes shared technology and the possibility for working together on exploring marketing, distribution and promotion opportunities for Learnist.
"As Discovery focuses its digital strategy around strengthening its position in video as the #1 nonfiction media company across all screens, we also see strategic growth opportunities in select investments in the next generation knowledge space," said JB Perrette, chief digital officer, Discovery Communications, said in a statement announcing the investment. "Discovery's commitment to igniting people's curiosity and passion for learning is a natural fit with Learnist's unique knowledge platform and model that encourages passionate audiences to share what they know and learn what they don't."
The latest round of funding comes as Grockit launched a redesigned Learnist website that better highlights its growing community of experts, including Bobby Chang, founder of In-Case; Clark Scheffy, founder of Ideo; and Eric Ries, the best-selling author of The Lean Startup.
As part of the updates, the Learnist apps for iPhone and iPad have also been revamped.
Commenting on the Discovery investment Roy Gilbert, CEO of Grockit, noted in a statement that "our relationship will combine Learnist social learning technology with Discovery's massive reach and footprint. Together, we look forward to encouraging more people to share what they know and learn from each other."