Akademos Secures $2.5 Million in Funding
Recognized Marketing and Technology Industry Veterans Scott Eagle and Bill Youstra Join Board of Directors
NORWALK, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Akademos, Inc., operator of online bookstores and marketplaces for educational institutions nationwide, today announced it has secured $2.5 million in venture funding from Kohlberg Ventures. Akademos will use the investment to meet rapidly growing demand for its online bookstore and marketplace services. Akademos’ funding puts the Company in a position to swiftly address major customer pain points such as offering affordable class materials and textbooks.
“Academic institutions across the nation, as well as their students, need low cost and easy-to-use options to streamline the purchase of textbooks. Akademos brings an innovative and timely service to a growing market – one that addresses a very real need for virtually every college, university and student body.”
Akademos also announced that eHarmony marketing executive Scott Eagle and Silicon Valley technology veteran Bill Youstra have joined its Board of Directors. Eagle and Youstra will bring extensive experience, insight and counsel to Akademos, and will contribute significantly to the long-term strategy and growth plans of the Company.
Eagle is currently chief marketing officer of eHarmony, where he is responsible for all elements of the company’s marketing, overseeing the company’s brand development, customer acquisition and customer lifecycle. He has extensive experience managing major Fortune 500 brands and in building successful new companies. Eagle holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Bill Youstra is a venture partner at Kohlberg Ventures and has helped startups in various consumer categories, including mobile, virtual worlds, e-commerce, search and media/marketing. Previously, Youstra was a product & content executive at AOL, during which time the company grew from 500,000 customers to more than 20 million. He holds a Master of Business Administration and Master of Arts in Education from Stanford, and degrees in Film, Computer Science and Marketing from the University of Maryland.
“The online bookstore landscape is rapidly changing as schools and students increasingly rely on technology to meet their needs,” said Jim Kohlberg, managing Director, Kohlberg Ventures. “Academic institutions across the nation, as well as their students, need low cost and easy-to-use options to streamline the purchase of textbooks. Akademos brings an innovative and timely service to a growing market – one that addresses a very real need for virtually every college, university and student body.”
“I am thrilled to have Kohlberg Ventures as an equity partner in our business, particularly during a time of rapid market transition from purchasing books in brick and mortar stores to online providers,” said Brian Jacobs, president and chief executive officer, Akademos. “This partnership, coupled with the expertise of Scott and Bill, will benefit Akademos significantly as we continue to grow our business.”
This funding news comes on the heels of Akademos’ recent announcement of its partnership with Alibris – the Internet’s premier independent marketplace for book, music, and movie sellers – to offer Akademos’ client schools with far greater opportunities to buy new and used textbooks.
About Kohlberg Ventures
Kohlberg Ventures invests in early stage digital media, consumer product and clean tech companies. We invest with focused, decisive, energetic entrepreneurs with a crisp understanding of customer dynamics – what customers want, why they want it, and how they’ll pay for it. Kohlberg Ventures draws on over twenty years experience of bringing patient capital to compelling business opportunities. www.kohlbergventures.com
Akademos provides online bookstores and marketplaces to educational institutions of all kinds across the US. Its turnkey school-branded services eliminate the operational costs of running a bookstore, reduce the costs of books to students, and provide a platform for digital distribution of course materials. The integrated peer-to-peer marketplace allows students access to millions of other buyers and sellers and to use financial aid for such purchases.