Kno Inc., the company behind the 14-inch dual-touchscreen tablet unveiled at D8 earlier this year, announced it has closed a $46 million debt-and-equity round led by Andreessen Horowitz.
The leading venture capital firm, which has also financed prominent startups such as Foursquare, Zynga and Skype, was joined by Silicon Valley Bank and TriplePoint Capital. Andreessen had previously led a $7.5 million Series B, which Kno closed in December 2009.
The digital textbook company plans to use the funds to continue developing its e-reader tablet and accompanying platform, which includes digital textbooks, educational apps and other related media.
“We plan to use the infusion of capital to get the Kno into the hands of students for beta testing this fall and ultimately for the first customer ship later this year,” Kno Co-founder and CTO Babur Habib said in a statement.
Room for digital innovation in the education sector is certainly there. A recent study from Simba Information estimates that e-textbooks will account for 11% of textbook sales by 2013. Furthermore, tablet sales are expected to grow from 3.5 million units in 2010 to 20.4 million units in 2015, according to Forrester. Whether students will be eager to purchase Kno’s 5.5-pound — and likely expensive (the company claims it will be “under $1000,” which is none-too-promising) — dual-screen tablet remains to be seen, however.