Curious aims to become the central online marketplace for lifelong learning by curating and delivering the best educational content anywhere. Curious is home to short-format video-based interactive lessons that help anyone learn about anything on their own time. It also provides a range of free, easy-to-use tools for teachers that enable them to market, share, and monetize their lessons to millions of learners. Curious has seen significant traffic growth on its web and mobile platforms since launch.
“Learning as a lifestyle” is becoming the new norm, driven by mobile device proliferation, ubiquitous broadband, and advances in content curation and delivery technology.
Curious.com was launched in 2012 by Justin Kitch, Thai Bui, and John Tokash. The three co-founders had previously worked together at Homestead for over a decade, and ultimately successfully exited through a sale to Intuit. Curious has built a team of highly talented developers, designers and content managers, and has recruited an exceptional Board of Directors as well.
Curious.com’s product is its video marketplace. Teachers can upload videos, monitor engagement and interact with students, as well as monetize their content through lesson fees and lesson-related e-commerce. Each lesson is typically a few minutes long and lessons are packaged together in multiple segments to form a longer course. The user experience is delivered through the company’s web and mobile platforms.
The company aims to be the central marketplace for the consumer-paid lifelong learning market, which is expected to grow to $55 billion by 2015 in the U.S. alone. Curious.com is tapping into a large market of teachers who want more channels to monetize their content. The company has already built a leadership position on the user side and has more visitor traffic than many of the incumbent lifelong learning platforms.
Knowledge Economy; Social; Internet; Brands; Free
Curious.com can become the “Amazon.com” of lifelong learning, through a platform that brings together both the world’s best teachers of any and all subjects and millions of lifelong learners around the world.
Curious.com has a marketplace and subscription model that is scalable and has demonstrated growth in monthly visits, registrations and enrollment metrics.
The company competes in a large market with other more established companies, including CreativeLIVE, Udemy and Skillshare. Also, marketplace business models such as Curious face the “chicken and egg” problem of constantly balancing supply vs. demand. Finally, the company will need to demonstrate sustained monetization on the platform to drive revenue growth over time, which will require meaningful sales and marketing investment.
GSVC percentage figures are based upon the fair value of each holding as of the quarter ended September 30, 2016, or the cost basis of the holding (exclusive of transaction costs) if the investment closed subsequent to September 30, 2016. In either case, these values are divided by the fair value of total portfolio investments of GSV Capital as of September 30, 2016.