Web and mobile teaching startup set for major growth
Startup Treehouse, which provides developers with tools to learn web design, web development and iOS development, has announced it has raised $4.75 million in funding from Social+Capital Partnership and Greylock (TechCrunch). Founder Ryan Carson is to move to Portland, Oregon, to set up a new office, and the cash injection points to further expansion in the coming months.
Carson spoke to .net about the new funding round, and told us that the company was breaking even beforehand, but "wanted to grow explosively and hire a lot of people, which required a chunk of capital". He added that the coming year will see some major evolution to Treehouse: "We're going to release a huge change to the product in about three months that will make it much more project-based. You'll be learning how to create something – a website, web app, iPhone app, etcetera – from beginning to end, instead of learning atomic units of content – iOS 5, CSS, and so on. We're also going to allow members to help and teach each other."
In the main, Treehouse will remain focused on teaching through video, which Carson told us is often more beneficial than text-oriented content: "A lot of concepts are too complex to teach via text. You really need to show and explain certain topics visually. This is where some of our competitors are falling down." And he added that Treehouse's dual targets of the web and iOS could be beneficial for developers, who often remain rooted in a single language or environment: "There is huge potential in creating apps for mobile devices. One of our members learned iOS, submitted an iPhone app and is now making up to $2,000 per month! And we're hiring an Android expert, too, so we can expand into teaching that area."