Open source textbook maker Flat World raises $8m

Flat World Knowledge creates and publishes college textbooks that are open source and free online. Their business model is to offer the option for students and teachers to print textbooks in whole or part at a fraction of the cost of a standard hardbound college text.

The company makes its books available as free web-hosted textbooks. It earns revenue and pays its authors royalties by providing students with options to purchase print-on-demand soft cover textbooks, audio textbooks, and self-print individual chapters at a fraction of the cost of traditional textbooks. The company enhances the learning experience by offering low-cost digital study aids like mp3 study guides, interactive web quizzes, and digital flashcards. Faculty prefer the open-source approach employed by Flat World because it gives them more control over the classroom experience by enabling them to customize books to better suit their teaching style.

The company announced today that they raised $8 million from Greenhill SAVP, High Peaks Venture Partners and Valhalla Partners.

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