Disco, closes oversubscribed $4.75M round including the investors behind Masterclass and Coursera
The investors behind Masterclass and Coursera join top global funds and angels from Shopify, Lambda School, Wattpad, Indiegogo, Clearbanc, K5 (former CAA), and Endeavor (Global, March 24,2021) - Today Disco, a live learning, “business in a box” platform for creators closed an oversubscribed $4.75MM funding round led by Quiet Capital, Golden Ventures, inovia, and GSV (investors in Masterclass, Coursera).
“Disco realizes that ed tech and all innovation happens at the edge, where creators live. We are excited to back this all star team pioneering the future of creator led live learning experiences.” Deborah Quazzo, GSV.
“Candice and Chris understand two fundamentals about online learning, which are that instructors are creators and that student cohorts are communities. Their live approach rethinks online learning.” Bert Amato, Golden Ventures.
ᐧ With remote work and zoom a verb, online learning is forever changed. Millions of people now want to learn live together. Disco is the Latin word for learn and Disco was born to help creators effortlessly deliver a cohort based live learning experience. Disco offers seamless branding, live video, group chat, and the ability to scale beyond a workshop or course into an ongoing learning community. Disco is the platform creators have been waiting for. “To run cohort-based courses today is a mess,” says Dan Martell, Saas Academy Coach. “You need to use about 7-10 different tools. Disco is solving a major pain point, I had to do it myself and that’s why I am investing.”
Like Shopify, Disco is 100% creator aligned. “Disco reminds me a lot of what we did in commerce,” says Shopify angel Brandon Chu. “We empowered entrepreneurs to go direct to customers and disrupt traditional retail, just like Disco is enabling creators to disrupt traditional education. The team is mission driven: helping creators be entrepreneurs.”
Disco sees the rise of creator monetization tools as a defining and growing trend - with more people becoming creators and wanting to monetize their niche expertise. “This team gets the importance for creators to own their own community, revenue and brand. I am so excited by the 1000s of things people will be able to now learn and teach.” Lee Linden, ex Facebook and investor, Quiet Capital.
Influencers from the learning space, creator economy and community platforms, are betting on Disco. This includes: Wattpad founder Ivan Yuen, Shopify’s Farhan Thanwar, Satish Kanwar, Arati Sharma, and Brandon Chu, Indiegogo’s Board Member Rob Goldman, Clearbanc’s Michele Romanow, CBO Lambda School Matt Wyndowe, Former Head Learning, Endeavor’s Tarun Sachdeva, former CAA agent K5’s Michael Kives among others.
The founders bring exceptionally complementary backgrounds to Disco. Candice Faktor helped scale Wattpad, one of the largest creative storytelling community platforms in the world (sold last month for $660MM). Chris Sukornyk, is a 6x serial tech entrepreneur who founded Chango, a performance marketing platform that sold for $120MM. Both founders are on a mission to support creators in finding sustainable ways to monetize their passion and purpose.
"Wattpad, a platform for nearly 100MM users, pioneered social and serial storytelling - a format both creators and readers love.” Ivan Yuen, founder, Wattpad. “Disco is pioneering social and serial learning - a format both creators and learners want - making learning fun, and highly engaging. Candice and Chris also understand how important creator monetization is, we learned this at Wattpad."
“What I love about Disco is that they are pioneering live learning experiences. What people miss about Async is that it isn’t two way - and as the saying goes - when one teaches, both learns.” says Farhan Thanwar, VP Eng, Shopify.
Creators like Graham Hill (Founder, Treehugger / Carbonauts) Dan Martell (SAAS Academy), Sarah Lacy (ChairmanMom), Michele Romanow (Dragon’s Den), Heather Payne (Juno) are a few of the creators with the Disco platform.
"Online learning has been as massive a behavior shift as curbside pick up this past year, but most of the tools are designed for a pre-pandemic era. As a founder whose company grew 10x in 2020 from online courses, I can tell you how limited the tools are, especially if you want a mix of asynchronous and live and community. There is nothing else in the market like this, and it's coming at the exact right time for thousands of creators around the globe." Sarah Lacy, Chairman Mom
“By building a platform that easily brings all the tools under one roof, we allow creators to market and monetize so they can focus back on what they love: teaching!” says Chris.
“Our vision for learning leaves the industrial age behind. It looks to a future of lifelong learning, that's live, with a peer group, led by creators we trust and accessible from anywhere. Our dream is that creators can earn a great living teaching what they love and millions of people have access to transformative live learning experiences ” adds Candice
Disco is currently live and in closed beta. There is a waitlist of a few hundred creators registered for early access. The team is fully remote and is actively hiring. Funds from this round will be used to bring the product to market and hire an exceptional, diverse team who are excited to pioneer this new way of learning and monetizing for creators.
Passionate about building community, Disco is offering a series of upcoming events. Find out more: https://www.disco.co/all-events
Join the waitlist here to get early access!
Where creators build live learning experiences. Disco is a platform for creators to build and scale their learning empire easily in one place. We help creators grow their learning community with workshops, cohort based courses, and microschool tools.