Maintaining focus while studying and working on classwork can often pose a great challenge to even the most studious of students. As many classrooms shifted to virtual environments during the global pandemic, the issue of staying on task has only gotten more difficult for some students. Edtech startup company Fiveable is creating a social network for students to learn and motivate one another online. The company recently acquired another edtech startup business, Hours, to expand its offerings for students and integrate a platform for creating digital study groups.
"I love that Fiveable genuinely cares about helping students,” said Calix Huang, founder of Hours. “They understand their students better than any other edtech company I've seen and build to better serve them. This partnership closely aligns with my values and will provide the necessary structure and resources to grow Hours as a platform that can directly impact millions of students around the world.”
The acquisition allows Fiveable and the fresh edtech startup to unite their resources to achieve a shared mission and improve virtual learning environments. Fiveable already offers digital cram sessions, learning materials, and live programming but looks forward to providing students with virtual study rooms. Huang will assume the role of Lead Product Manager of Hours at Fiveable. The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed at the time of the announcement.
Since the founding of the edtech company in 2018, Fiveable has garnered almost $4 million from investors eager to support its business. Investors in the edtech startup company include BBG Ventures, Cream City Venture Capital, and gener8tor, among others.
Staying Motivated and Studying Online Together
Huang founded Hours in October 2020 at only sixteen years old. The young entrepreneur built the startup business using his experience from several software engineering internships in an effort to help other students increase their productivity during the pandemic.
Hours provides students with a convenient way to form study groups online. The platform built by the startup company lets students set tasks and publicly display their progress to other group members. A built-in timer feature encourages students to complete their objectives quickly and efficiently in increments.
One of the major selling points of the Hours program is being able to hang out with friends while working. The software sports voice, text messaging, and video chat functionally within groups. Furthermore, the startup business programmed a handpicked, lo-fi music player into the platform to set the appropriate study session ambiance.
"Aside from the clear alignment with our company's growth goals, the acquisition of a company founded by a 16-year-old coder and edtech innovator couldn't be more fitting for us," said Tán Ho, co-founder and chief experience officer at Fiveable. "We trust and respect young people and actively seek out ways to include their voices in what we do…”
James White is a Michigan State University graduate with a B.S. in Environmental Biology. He is interested in reporting emerging trends in technology, especially with regard to alternative energy and environmental conservation.