Inkling has announced its funding and platform launch today, introducing some much needed new concepts to the digital publishing and education industries. The startup creates interactive apps for higher learning, developing digital textbooks for use on the iPad.
Inkling has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from its Series A round, led by Sequoia Capital and participation from Kapor Capital, Sherpalo Ventures and Felicis Ventures. Peter Currie, the former CFO of Netscape, and Bryan Schreier, Partner at Sequoia Capital, have joined Inkling’s board. The company also had a previous round of seed funding from Mitch Kapor and Ram Shriram.
The funding demonstrates the growing support and acceptance of digital education methods, which has required that the two schools work in tandem for this level of progression to occur. Inkling has landed partnerships with a number of publishers, such as McGraw Hill, in order to provide comprehensive textbook offerings in digital format. Some features of the Inkling apps:
* Integrated interactive media in every title, such as movies, 3-D objects, and guided tours
* A simple and powerful user interface that makes it easy to skim readings or jump from place to place in
the title, while always keeping track of your progress
* Interactive formative assessment that helps students immediately gauge their level of understanding
* Sync and sharing options for student and teacher collaboration and note-sharing
* An intuitive search engine that predicts your search as you type
Textbooks aren’t the only ones gaining ground in digital publishing. Major publishers and independent cooperatives have taken to digital publishing quite rapidly in the past year or so, in part due to the successful uptake of mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad. Apple’s ability to provide a distribution platform that’s geared towards maintaining publisher control and revenue has been a driving force behind this trend, with the iPad becoming a catalyst for the publishing industry at large. Between subscriptions and mobile advertising, the print media industry is looking to the iPad as a specific tool for their survival–Time Magazine, The New York Times and People Magazine are among the most recent to jump on this bandwagon.