Flat World Knowledge Secures $700,000 in Funding
Startup publisher Flat World Knowledge has secured $700,000 in new funding from independent investors, bringing its total funding to date to $1.4 million. The company, which was launched in August by textbook-publishing veterans Jeff Shelstad and Eric Frank, publishes free, open-source college textbooks online, with the option to purchase alternate formats of its content, including print and audio, and other study aids.
Shelstad, who serves as chief executive officer of Flat World Knowledge, says he was “pleased” with the amount of funding raised. “Our investors recognize that higher education is one of the few markets that actually benefits from recessionary economic environments,” he says. “Our unique business model of selling high-quality, low-cost, open-source textbooks is ideally suited to price-conscious students and educators.” The company says that educators also prefer the open-source approach employed by Flat World because it gives them more control over the classroom experience by enabling instructors to customize books to better suit their syllabus and teaching style.
Flat World Knowledge also announced that it added Jonathan Newcomb, former chairman and chief executive officer of Simon & Schuster, to its advisory board. “The textbook industry is ripe for a sea change,” says Newcomb. “Flat World Knowledge is in the right place, at the right time, with the right idea and team to make this happen. Flat World Knowledge will become a major driving force in this industry, and I’m excited to be part of it.”