CodeCombat raises $2M seed round, launches platform to promote computer science education
CodeCombat, which offers a platform to help kids learn computer science, announced that it has closed a $2 million seed round of funding from Third Kind Venture Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Allen & Company.
The funding was primarily to help CodeCombat finish its new classroom offering, which launches today after extensive beta testing by more than 25,000 students in grades 3-12.
CodeCombat was designed to make learning to code as easy as playing a game. The computer science learning tool has students typing real code from day one, and CodeCombat enables teachers without any CS background to teach a course on coding.
“Until now, computer science classes have been viewed by students as boring and difficult – I know, because I took my first CS class as a freshman in college, and most people in the class either dropped it or failed it,” said CodeCombat Co-founder Nick Winter. “We designed CodeCombat to be first and foremost really engaging for students, because if they aren’t engaged, they won’t learn.”
One of the many schools to have implemented CodeCombat in the classroom is Gage Park High in Chicago. Marvin Evins, computer science instructor at Gage Park, said, “Teaching computer science is challenging because you have to get beyond the abstract and rather dry learning material available, and there is no single standard curriculum. I’ve evaluated many programs, and none are as good as CodeCombat. It provides my students with a very engaging framework that also maps to important academic standards. My students love CodeCombat because it makes learning to code fun! I especially love seeing my low-performing students succeeding and assisting other students using the skills they master.”
The CodeCombat curriculum is designed to cover more programming skills than any other curriculum, including not only middle- and high-school state standards, but also the AP computer science exam and even elite programs such as a Stanford undergraduate computer science course.
CodeCombat is also helping boost student interest in computer science careers. Most students, especially girls and students of color, don’t ever consider a career in CS. According to CodeCombat survey data, after playing CodeCombat, 88 percent of students become interested in continuing to learn programming.
“I have wished for something as engaging and effective as CodeCombat to teach kids to code,” said Shana Fisher, Managing Director at Third Kind Venture Capital and board member at Andreessen Horowitz. “As a mom, I am thrilled that girls and boys across the country can learn fundamental programming concepts in such a fun way. I had to get involved with the company as an investor to help spread the word.”
Schools interested in a free trial of CodeCombat should visit https://codecombat.com/.