Disco has raised $19 million CAD ($15 million USD) in a Series A funding round to enable its creators to potentially earn a living from their live learning communities.
The round, which was closed at the end of February, was led by GSV Ventures, with participation from Inovia Capital, Golden Ventures, and angels from Degreed, Shopify, Solana, Wattpad, Wealthsimple, Clearco, and Indiegogo.
Funds from the round will be used for product development, scaling go-to-market, and hiring, according to a news release.
Founded by Candice Faktor and Chris Sukornyk in 2020, Disco — the Latin word for learn — offers a platform to create and teach, learn and engage, market and sell, and operate and scale a live learning empire. In the same way, Substack allows writers to build and monetize newsletters, Disco enables creators to do the same with its online learning communities. Like Substack, which has actively attracted big-name authors to come to write on its newsletter platform, Disco has done the same with its Disco Studios.
Disco Studios provides Disco’s platform to premium creators and aids them with strategy, design, marketing and sales, and curriculum and community design.
Speaking about the platform, Faktor said,
"We believe knowledge creators are the entrepreneurs of the future and they deserve a platform that gives them ownership and control of their empire.
If you think about what the experience is today of how we live together, we think it is a very early version of where a learning metaverse will ultimately be. We think we’ll continue to innovate and ideate on how we can learn to live together in a virtual metaverse."
Premium creators on Disco’s platform include dean of the Rotman School of Management, Roger Martin; New Yorker writer Adam Davidson, and Olympic gold medal sprinter Andre De Grasse. Disco’s biggest addition to its premium creator’s portfolio is globally-recognized Canadian author Margaret Atwood.
Deborah Quazzo, the Managing Partner at GSV Ventures, said,
"Disco realizes that live learning is the future and creators and organizations of all sizes need a Shopify-like platform to run their live learning business. We are excited to back this all-star team pioneering the future of live learning."
As part of the investment, Deborah will join the company’s board of directors.
With conversations about Web3 and the metaverse abound for most startups today, Disco said NFT certificates, wallet integration, and crypto payment protocols are all on the product roadmap for 2022.
Disco closed an oversubscribed $6 million seed round in 2021. Investors in that round included Quiet Capital, Golden Ventures, Inovia, and GSV, as well as a number of angel investors, including Wattpad co-founder Ivan Yuen, Shopify’s Satish Kanwar and Brandon Chu, and Clearco’s Michele Romanow.