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Industry Education
Founded 2009
Founder Ashish Rangnekar, Ujjwal Gupta
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois

BenchPrep is an online learning platform that helps students prepare for standardized tests - GRE, GMAT, MCAT, ACT and SAT, professional certifications, and K-12 classroom learning. It partners with educational publishers such as McGraw Hill, John Wiley & Sons, and the Princeton Review to create interactive, digitized courses.[1][2] BenchPrep’s goal is to make studying accessible and personalized.[3] The company has developed web and mobile apps that can be used on computers, tablets, and smartphones [4]


BenchPrep, formerly known as Watermelon Express, was founded in 2009 by Ashish Rangnekar and Ujjwal Gupta.[5] The company materialized when cofounder Ashish Rangnekar won the New Venture Challenge at the University of Chicago.[6][7] Shortly thereafter, BenchPrep received $2.2 million in seed funding from Lightbank, the executives behind Groupon.[8] In July 2012, the company announced a $6 million round of funding from New Enterprise Associates and Revolution LLC.[9][10]Ashish Rangnekar received his MBA from the Booth School of Business.[11] Ujjwal Gupta holds a PhD from Penn State.[12]


  • "Top 5 Digital Education Tool" by Venture Beat [13]
  • "Most innovative and Best In Class Test Prep and Assessment Platform" at the 2010 Education Innovation Summit [3]
  • "Top 10 Innovative Startup in Education" at the 2010 Venture Capital in Education [14]


  1. ^ Josh Constine (2010-01-05). "BenchPrep is Code Academy for any Subject". Techcrunch. 
  2. ^ Rip Empson (2012-05-14). "BenchPrep Teams up with The Princeton Review to Gamify Test Prep". Techcrunch. 
  3. ^ a b "Venture Capital News: BenchPrep Raises $6M". VC Daily News. 2012-07-04. 
  4. ^ Marc Saltzman (2011-11-28). "BenchPrep, Study for Tests with App". USA Today. 
  5. ^ Steve Hendershot (2012-07-03). "BenchPrep Snares 6 Million Investment". Chicago Business. 
  6. ^ Brad Spirrison (2011-09-23). "Local App Developers Rise to the Head of the Class". NBC Chicago. 
  7. ^ "Traditional NVC Winners". 2010. 
  8. ^ Steve Hendershot (2012-11-12). "BenchPrep Leaving Textbooks in the Dust". Chicago Business. 
  9. ^ "The Daily Start-Up NEA Revolution Back BenchPrep for Online Education". 2012-07-03. 
  10. ^ Lora Kolodny (2012-07-03). "BenchPrep Passes Series B Test, Raises $6M". Dow Jones & Company. 
  11. ^ "Executive Profile Ashish Rangnekar". Bloomberg. 
  12. ^ "Executive Profile Ujjwal Gupta". Bloomberg. 
  13. ^ Meghan Kelly (2011-09-02). "Back to school: Our top 5 digital education tools". Venture Beat. 
  14. ^ "Ten Early Stage Education Companies Selected for "Educations Innovators Showcase" At VC in Education Summit". 2010-06-04.