Tech and Biotech: Doyenne Group chooses presenters for 5X5X5; StudyBlue raises funds

StudyBlue gains funding, moves HQ
StudyBlue, a company founded in Madison that lets students create and share study tools through a cell phone app, is getting another $1.7 million in investments. But it is one of the local companies that moved its base to the West Coast.

The company and its CEO, Becky Splitt, were featured on in April in an article that touted them for “harnessing the power of the people to create an A+ learning platform.”

More than 5.5 million students, from middle school to graduate school, have devised digital flashcards through StudyBlue and worked together to prepare for tests.

“In the past year, StudyBlue has seen phenomenal growth, attracting more than 1 million new users, in part because we now house the largest collection of user-generated content of its kind,” Splitt said.

But the company is not based in Madison anymore. StudyBlue has moved its headquarters and most of its operations to San Francisco after opening an office there in 2012.
“As StudyBlue grew year over year, we realized we needed to invest in a strategic design and engineering team. The San Francisco Bay Area has a dynamic and extensive talent pool for the type of people we needed to help us make that next leap,” Splitt said in an email.
StudyBlue now has 20 employees, three-fourths of them in San Francisco. “Core members of our team” remain in Madison, working remotely, Splitt said. “The company is still deeply rooted in Madison with key team members and investors located there.”

Investors in the latest round include the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation; Great Oaks Venture Capital, with offices in New York and Madison; and board chairman, securities analyst Stephen Wallman. It brings the investment total to $17.1 million. Splitt said the new funding will be used to boost operations, design and product development.

Her goal is to expand beyond classroom learning, as the Fast Company article says: “I want to build the world’s foremost crowdsourced learning platform. We can connect anyone with anyone else in the world who’s learning; we’d like to be a destination for anyone who wants to learn anything, regardless of whether you have a final to study for,” Splitt said.