Disco: The Creator Economy is Powering Education
Disco, a platform for creators to build and scale their learning communities easily in one place, is creating live, cohort based experiences.
It’s 2021, Zoom is now a verb, remote education and work are the norm, and becoming a creator is now a viable career choice. Although digital learning is becoming more prevalent, traditional pre-recorded online learning courses have completion rates of a mere 3–5%. The biggest criticisms? A lack of community and inability to learn live together. At the same time, with platforms like YouTube, Udemy or Teachable, it has never been easier to be an online course creator. There are an estimated 50M content creators and this will continue to grow with one out of every three kids wanting to become a YouTuber. Disco is closing the gap between traditional learning courses and the creator economy.
At GSV, we are excited to back solutions that empower creators to monetize their knowledge while delivering more engaging and effective online education. We believe Disco, a platform for creators to build live, cohort based experiences, is that solution. From a single workshop to an entire micro-school, Disco puts the power into the hands of creators, providing them with the digital tool kit to scale and monetize their learning communities seamlessly from one place.
“By empowering more creators with a learning empire ‘business in a box’, we create a better world. We ultimately enable so many transformative learning experiences led by exceptional creators that people can access from anywhere.” said Co-Founder, Candice Faktor.
A Product Streamlining the Creator Experience
Disco’s software solution enables creators to build live, cohort-based courses from setup to post-course management. Traditionally creators need to use 7–10 different tools to build a course, but with Disco creators can utilize tools for course creation, cohorts, templates, billing, and marketing all from one platform. This allows creators to better convert learners into paid customers and gives them a seamless experience in building and scaling their cohort-based courses.
“Disco realizes that innovation happens at the edge, where creators live. We are excited to back this all star team pioneering the future of creator led, cohort based live learning experiences,” said Managing Partner of GSV Ventures, Deborah Quazzo.
Serial Entrepreneurs, Serial Community Builders
Disco’s founders, Candice Faktor and Chris Sukornyk, have proven expertise building and scaling businesses. As Global GM and Head of Business, Candice helped scale Wattpad, a creative community storytelling platform, which sold for $660M last month. Candice is also the host of a digital innovation community called gamechanger.co, giving her unique insight into the needs of a creator. We are taken by Candice’s vision to build communities of learners and believe her experience at Wattpad gives her unique insight into doing so.
Chris Sukornyk complements Candice with his technical expertise, as a 6x serial tech entrepreneur who most recently founded Chango, a performance marketing platform that sold for $120M. In addition to his technical expertise and passion for mission-driven business, we believe his performance marketing expertise will help creators further monetize and expand their courses.
The Potential to Transform How we Learn Together
Disco, which derives its name from the latin word meaning “to learn,” touches upon GSV mega trends of lifelong and peer-to-peer learning that have significantly accelerated post-COVID. We believe that Disco can democratize access to quality education, expand learning communities, and empower creators to become a weapon of mass instruction.
“As a founder whose company grew 10x in 2020 from online courses, I can tell you how limited the tools are, especially if you want a mix of asynchronous and live and community. There is nothing else in the market like this,” said Sarah Lacy, a creator and founder.
Disco closed an oversubscribed round of $4.75M led by GSV Ventures, Quiet Capital, Golden Ventures, and iNovia, with participation from GFC, and StandUp Ventures. The round includes a star-studded group of angels from top tech companies including Wattpad, Shopify, Lambda School, Indiegogo, CAA, Wealthsimple, Google, and Clearbanc. The startup plans to use those funds to bring the product to market and hire an exceptional, diverse team.
Disco is currently live and in closed beta. You can sign up to join hundreds of creators on the waitlist here.
This piece is co-authored by Kevin Zhang who sourced Disco.