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Knewton, Inc.
Type Private
Industry Education Technology
Founded 2008
Headquarters New York, NY
Key people

Jose Ferreira: Founder & CEO
David Liu: COO

Ryan Prichard: CTO
Services Infrastructure platform for adaptive learning
Employees 145
Website [1]

Knewton is an adaptive learning company that has developed a platform to personalize educational content. The Knewton platform allows schools, publishers, and developers to provide adaptive learning for any student. In 2011, Knewton announced a partnership with Pearson Education to enhance the company's digital content, including the MyLab and Mastering series.[1] Additional partners announced include Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Macmillan Education, and Triumph Learning.[2][3][4] Knewton also offers two adaptive learning products of its own: a developmental math program[5] and a test prep course for the GMAT.

The company was founded in 2008 by Jose Ferreira, a former executive at Kaplan, Inc. In its first round of funding, Knewton raised $2.5 million in investment capital from Accel Partners, Reid Hoffman, Ron Conway, and Josh Kopelman at First Round Capital.[6] In April 2009 Knewton closed a $6 million round of funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners with returning investors,[7] and in April 2010 Knewton closed a $12.5 million round of funding led by FirstMark Capital with returning investors.[8] In October 2011 the company closed a $33 million series D round of funding led by the Founders Fund.[9] In December 2013 the company closed a $51 million series E round of funding led by Atomico, joined by GSV Capital and returning investors.[10]

Knewton's offices are at 100 5th Avenue in Manhattan, New York City.


Knewton is an adaptive learning technology provider that makes it possible for others to build adaptive learning applications. Knewton technology enables the company to perform "sophisticated, real-time analysis of reams of student performance data."[11] Knewton uses adaptive learning technology to identify each student's particular strengths and weaknesses. Concepts are tagged at very specific levels, which allows the platform to make custom recommendations based on students’ proficiency and needs. The company first launched with a GMAT preparation course.[12] Len Swanson and Rob McKinley, who developed the original GMAT CATs for Educational Testing Service (ETS) and ACT, collaborated to write the scoring algorithms.

In 1995, researchers now working for Knewton proved that the small question pool available to the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) computer-adaptive test made it vulnerable to cheating.[13]

In January 2011, Arizona State University began powering developmental math and blended learning courses with Knewton's adaptive technology.[14] "The portion of students withdrawing from the courses fell from 13% to 6%, and pass rates rose from 66% to 75%".[15]


  1. ^ Upbin, Bruce (October 31, 2011). "Pearson, Knewton Team Up To Personalize College". Forbes. Retrieved 2011-11-02. 
  2. ^ "Knewton and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt bring adaptive learning to incarcerated youths". EdSurge. November 20, 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  3. ^ Heussner, Ki Mae (May 21, 2013). "Knewton teams up with Macmillan to bring adaptive learning beyond K-12 and higher ed". GigaOm. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  4. ^ "Knewton partners with Triumph Learning, takes first steps into K-12 space". EdSurge. March 5, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  5. ^ "Knewton Engages Students With Personalized, Adaptive Math Courses". Getting Smart. May 1, 2012. Retrieved 2013-06-13. 
  6. ^ Takahashi, Dean (May 17, 2008). "Knewton raises $2.5 million for education services software". Venture Beat. Retrieved 2009-02-02. 
  7. ^ Wauters, Robin (April 7, 2009). "Knewton Bags $6 Million Series B Round For Adaptive Learning Platform". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  8. ^ Wauters, Robin (April 19, 2010). "Educational Technology Company Knewton Scores $12.5 Million More". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  9. ^ Schonfeld, Erick (October 31, 2011). "Founders Fund Leads $33 Million D Round in Learning Startup Knewton". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  10. ^ Empson, Rip (December 19, 2013). "Powering Smart Content For Publishing Giants, Knewton Lands $51M To Take Personalized Learning Global". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 
  11. ^ Webley, Kayla (June 6, 2013). "The Adaptive Learning Revolution". TIME. Retrieved 2013-06-13. 
  12. ^ "Knewton GMAT Prep Course",, January , 2009
  13. ^ Honan, William (January 4, 1995). "Computer Admissions Test to Be Given Less Often". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  14. ^ Olster, Scott (January 7, 2011). "Is the Google-fication of education underway?". CNN Money. Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  15. ^ Upbin, Bruce (February 22, 2012). "Knewton Is Building The World's Smartest Tutor". Forbes. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 

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