Flatworld gains investment – open source, print on demand textbooks

We’ve previously reported on Flatworld, and it looks as if they are doing well.  This is from a just-released press bulletin:

MWSnap004 Greenhill SAVP announced today it has invested in Flat World Knowledge (“Flat World”).  Greenhill SAVP partnered with Valhalla Partners and High Peaks Venture Partners on an $8m Series A financing.

Based in Nyack, New York, Flat World (www.flatworldknowledge.com) is the world’s first publisher of open source commercial textbooks.  Flat World’s textbooks are written by world-class authors.  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 timing of this latest investment could not be better,” said Jeff Shelstad, co-founder and chief executive officer of Flat World Knowledge. “In these uncertain economic times, we all are looking for the best value for our preferred products and services.  Administrators, parents, faculty, and students are very intrigued by and attracted to the value provided by the Flat World Knowledge model.  With this further investment, we can continue to scale our sales and marketing activities, staff up our acquisition talent to attract more talented authors to Flat World Knowledge, and improve the overall experience for our customers

1 Comment on Flatworld gains investment – open source, print on demand textbooks

  1. Bob Martinengo // March 27, 2009 at 3:59 pm //

    Yes, this is a press-release, so you expect the spin, but still, I have to point out the ’emperors new clothes’ aspect to this. Saying you are offering free ebooks, but will pay your bills by selling print and audio books is just spin. This is a publisher that is selling print books and audio books and giving away ebooks is just a loss-leader. If the ebooks were that great, no one would buy the other formats, and unless they start selling ads, they go out of business. There is very little new under the sun, and this company, interesting as it is, ain’t it.

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