Investment Profile

Highlighter was founded to dramatically reduce the cost of textbooks while dramatically increasing student engagement on any online content.

In 2015 Highlighter was acquired by panOpen.

panOpen is a platform that enables mainstream institutional adoption of Open Educational Resources as an alternative to commercial textbooks.

panOpen provides faculty with turnkey peer-reviewed content, tools for customization, assessment, and analytics, and a means of financially sustaining campus-based OER efforts, allowing faculty to lower costs and improve learning outcomes.

 panOpen was founded in April 2013 by Brian Jacobs to deliver on the promise of Open Educational Resources (OER) in higher education. Not only do OER improve educational access, but they also free faculty from the constraints of the commercial copyright structure. panOpen provides the tools and services necessary to realize this promise. It also incentivizes faculty to update and contribute open content, ensuring sustainability and growth. panOpen is backed by Zen Group LLC, Techstars, Kaplan, EdTech entrepreneur John Katzman, MIT Entrepreneurship Center Founder and Chair, Professor Edward Roberts, among others.

Investment Info

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington (original; now New York City, NY)
Description: Highlighter was founded as an education publishing platform for publishing documents, with engagement features such as highlighting and commenting. Acquired in 2015 Highlighter took the name panOpen.
Founders: (Highlighter) –  (panOpen) – Brian JacobsCategories: Education, Finance
Website: panOpen.com (formerly highlighter.com)

Total Equity Funding: $730k in 4 Rounds from 8 Investors
Most Recent Funding: $330k Angel on December 1, 2011




Company Status – Acquired in 2015 by panOpen (KBJ Capital / Kristopher B. Jones exited as part of transaction).