Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Here's What VCs Get for $46 Million: The Kno Tablet D8 Demo

Today, Kno, a start-up that is taking on the textbook by replacing it with a tablet aimed at students, nabbed another $46 million in venture funding from a panoply of Silicon Valley bigs.

And what are those moneybags getting for their dough?

Well, here’s the demo for Kno, which debuted at the eighth D: All Things Digital conference in June.

The clamshell device has a pair of touchscreens that open and shut like a book, and Kno will offer an online store linked to the tablet for the purchase of materials.

In fact, Kno shares a co-founder with Chegg, the online textbook-rental service.

That would be Osman Rashid–and you can pretty much draw a straight line from Chegg to Kno.

But rather than focusing on making an old business better via the Web, as Chegg does, Kno will be headed right into the competitive tablet market that now includes Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Samsung, Dell (DELL), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and, reportedly, Google (GOOG).

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based Kno has previously raised almost $10 million in funding from prominent venture players like Andreessen Horowitz and First Round Capital, along with investors Mike Maples and Ron Conway.

In addition, Marc Andreessen is now on Kno’s board.

Andreessen Horowitz is upping the ante this new round too, as you can read in the press release below.

Kno Funding FINAL FINAL Release

And, here is the full demo video for Kno at D8:

(Want to see it bigger? Click here.)


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I sometimes joke that when I die, my tombstone will say, “Here lies the guy who hired Jonathan Ive.”

— Robert Brunner, the founder of Apple’s industrial design group