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Open Web Annotation Tool Hypothesis Forms Public Benefit Corporation, Garners $2.5M Investment from ITHAKA

Hypothesis, maker of an open annotation tool that allows users to make public or private annotations on any web page, PDF or document, has incorporated as a public benefit corporation — a move that will enable it to pursue the funding needed to scale the service, the company said in a news announcement. The new corporation, Anno, has received $14 million in seed round funding that includes a $2.5 million investment from ITHAKA, the nonprofit provider of the JSTOR digital library.

Hypothesis accounts will remain free for individual users, and the tool will continue to be available as a fee-based enterprise service for colleges and universities. The service boasts 1 million users globally and more than 200 institutional customers.

Together, Anno and ITHAKA are launching a pilot project that will allow faculty and students at a select number of colleges and universities to use Hypothesis to annotate the scholarly content on JSTOR from within their learning management systems. Eventually, the plan is to enable all JSTOR users to easily use Hypothesis for annotation both inside and outside of the classroom.

"Our mission is to improve access to knowledge and education so that people can learn, grow and thrive," commented Kevin Guthrie, president of ITHAKA, in a statement. "Engaging students in their learning through annotation and social reading is a compelling capability made possible by the web, yet to be fully realized. We are therefore very excited to connect Hypothesis and JSTOR and accelerate the beneficial use of annotation by faculty and students all over the world."

"There are few organizations that are as aligned with our mission and ethos as ITHAKA," said Dan Whaley, CEO and founder of Anno. "Their history over 25 years in growing and stewarding the world's most essential knowledge resources, their impact orientation, and their focus on learning and student success are unique. We're thrilled to be taking the next step in our development with them."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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