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Wednesday, Feb 21, 2024

Knowable Universe Raises $3.75 Million Seed

Silver Lake-based online learning startup Knowable Universe Inc. raised a $3.75 million seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz.

Santa Monica-based Upfront Ventures also participated in the round alongside San Francisco-headquartered venture firms Initialized Capital Management and First Round Capital.

To date, Knowable has raised roughly $4 million; the company launched Oct. 1.

Knowable Universe will use the funding to hire six additional employees for its audio production, marketing and product teams, which will expand the company’s staff to 16 people.

“We are excited about the wealth of talent in L.A.,” said Knowable Universe Chief Executive Warren Shaeffer. “We want to make higher education more accessible; being educated on the latest research can have a huge impact on your life.”

Some of the funds will also be used to pay teachers, academics and storytellers to create and contribute to courses, Shaeffer said.

Knowable’s audio courses and ebooks are available for purchase online or via its Android and iPhone mobile applications. It currently offers three pilot classes, including “Launch a Startup,” featuring advice from Reddit Inc. co-founder Alexis Ohanian and 1661 Inc. founder Eddy Lu, and “Start a Podcast,” with NPR Senior Production Strategist Rob Byers.

Shaeffer said Knowable competes with other video-focused online learning platforms like San Francisco-based MasterClass and New York headquartered ClassPass Inc. by offering audio-only programming, which it claims is more accessible.

“We want to help people learn when they’re doing something else and can’t look at a video screen,” Shaeffer said. “Our courses feature multiple experts rather than one celebrity, so we’re creating a prismatic learning experience.”

Each Knowable Universe course features multiple expert speakers, lasts four-seven hours, comes with additional reading materials, and costs $100. The company is considering a subscription plan, Shaeffer said.

“We started by asking, ‘What’s a course that isn’t taught in colleges today but should be?'” Shaeffer said. “It’s clear there was a need for a company that does this.”

Tech reporter Samson Amore can be reached at samore@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 556-8335. Follow him on Twitter @samsonamore.

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