Top Hat Raises $55m to Expand Digital Courseware, OER

  • 2020-02-18
  • Education Dive

Top Hat, an ed tech company that specializes in creating open educational resources (OER), announced Tuesday that it raised $55 million in Series D funding.

The raise brings Top Hat's funding to just over $100 million since its founding in 2009, according to Crunchbase. The company aims to compete with major textbook publishers, particularly as institutions look to confront nontuition costs. But its CEO Mike Silagadze has acknowledged that implementing OER can mean more work for professors.

Top Hat has taken steps to address that issue. Last year, it began offering its assessment services on a single platform to help track students' progress.

It has also begun packaging digital textbooks, lecture slides and assessments for introductory classes. So far, it offers bundles for six courses, including psychology, economics and public speaking. And it has teamed up with two publishers to offer their content digitally.

The U.S. Department of Education funded a pilot project in 2018 to explore OER uses in higher education, though it was criticized for limiting the award to a single program. The 2020 federal budget includes $7 million for the program, called the Open Textbooks Pilot.