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YouTube VP Matt Glotzbach graduates to CEO role at Quizlet

TechCrunch TechCrunch 5/05/2016 Lora Kolodny

Quizlet, the makers of popular web and mobile study tools, hired a new CEO, Matt Glotzbach, former Vice President of Product Management at YouTube.

Glotzbach led the creation of YouTube’s music subscription service, and fan-funding business platforms. But Quizlet will not be his first education-focused initiative. A 12-year Google veteran, he was part of the founding team of Google apps for education.

The new Quizlet CEO said he was motivated to jump into edtech full-time after seeing his own two kids embrace apps including Minecraft for learning even though their schools weren’t formally using them.

He views Quizlet as a “peer powered learning network,” that is analogous to YouTube because all of the study sets within Quizlet are all user-generated.

“You bring your content here, and the platform helps you learn better and faster, and get better grades,” Glotzbach said. “If you are a content creator, you’re in control. You can make your content available to the public or keep it private.”

The materials uploaded into Quizlet’s site or app are turned into games, some more pared down, interactive flashcards or quizzes, and others that feel more like vintage video games.

The company recently released a game that teachers can use with groups of students in a classroom, dubbed Quizlet Live.

There are more than 125 million user-contributed study sets on Quizlet today. And the site and apps see over 20 million monthly active users.

Quizlet was self-financed from 2007 to 2015. It raised a $12 million Series A round of funding in November last year. At the time he closed the Series A round founder Andrew Sutherland said he wanted to bring on a CEO who could help Quizlet scale rapidly to international markets.

So it’s no surprise that globalization and mobile tech will be an immediate focus for Glotzbach.

He said, “If we want to expand the Quizlet platform so that billions of people have access to these learning tools around the world, we need to lean into our mobile experience. Another 1 billion people will come online over the next 5 years, and their first computer will be a smartphone.”

Asked whether Quizlet intends to use video as part of its platform any time soon, or partner with YouTube, Glotzbach said,“There’s certainly customer demand for it. But there’s nothing on the road map.”

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