Everyone should learn how to code, the popular recent refrain goes. In a digital world, coding is currency. Programming is power.
Treehouse wants to formalize this notion with a platform that aims to help anyone learn to code and design for iOS, Android and the Web, using video-based instruction, quizzes, project-based learning and gamification. It takes a different approach that other startups by shunning crowdsourced content and embracing high-quality instruction for students of all ages, from non-technical professionals to kids in kindergarten through the 12th grade.
The Orlando, Fla. and Portland, Ore.-based startup company launched in 2011 and now has 25,000 active students. Yesterday, it announced that it raised $7 million from Kaplan Ventures and The Social+Capital Partnership, among others.
"We believe that Treehouse has the market-leading offering for delivering targeted, in-demand technology skills training at a low cost, and we are thrilled to support their growth," said Kaplan's Kate Eberle Walker, who will join Treehouse's board.
Social+Capital's Chamath Palihapitiya called it the "biggest computer science school in the world."
The company has raised a bit more than $12 million so far. Twitter, Square, AOL, Disney and Zappos are customers.
Founder and CEO Ryan Carson added the following comment on his personal blog: "I think this is a great place to take a stand and say you don't need to be in Silicon Valley (or a "startup hub") in order to raise money for your startup or be successful... Don't be afraid to do it your own way." Carson is based in Portland.