BenchPrep is an online learning platform that helps students prepare for standardized tests - GRE, GMAT, MCAT, ACT and SAT, professional certifications, and K-12 classroom learning. It partners with educational publishers such as McGraw Hill, John Wiley & Sons, and the Princeton Review to create interactive, digitized courses.[1][2] BenchPrep’s goal is to make studying accessible and personalized.[3] The company has developed web and mobile apps that can be used on computers, tablets, and smartphones [4]

Watermelon Express
Founded2009; 11 years ago (2009)
FounderAshish Rangnekar, Ujjwal Gupta


BenchPrep, formerly known as Watermelon Express, was founded in 2009 by Ashish Rangnekar and Ujjwal Gupta.[5] The company materialized when cofounder Ashish Rangnekar won the New Venture Challenge at the University of Chicago.[6][7] Shortly thereafter, BenchPrep received $2.2 million in seed funding from Lightbank, the executives behind Groupon.[8] In July 2012, the company announced a $6 million round of funding from New Enterprise Associates and Revolution LLC.[9][10]

In 2019, the company announced a $20 million round of funding from Jump Capital and Owl Ventures[11][12]


  • "Top 5 Digital Education Tool" by Venture Beat [13]
  • "Most innovative and Best In Class Test Prep and Assessment Platform" at the 2010 Education Innovation Summit [3]
  • "Top 10 Innovative Startup in Education" at the 2010 Venture Capital in Education [14]
  • "2019 Learning LMS Choice Award" by Training Magazine Network [15]


  1. ^ Josh Constine (2010-01-05). "BenchPrep is Code Academy for any Subject". Techcrunch.
  2. ^ Rip Empson (2012-05-14). "BenchPrep Teams up with The Princeton Review to Gamify Test Prep". Techcrunch.
  3. ^ a b "Venture Capital News: BenchPrep Raises $6M". VC Daily News. 2012-07-04.
  4. ^ Marc Saltzman (2011-11-28). "BenchPrep, Study for Tests with App". USA Today.
  5. ^ Steve Hendershot (2012-07-03). "BenchPrep Snares 6 Million Investment". Chicago Business.
  6. ^ Brad Spirrison (2011-09-23). "Local App Developers Rise to the Head of the Class". NBC Chicago.
  7. ^ "Traditional NVC Winners". 2010.
  8. ^ Steve Hendershot (2012-11-12). "BenchPrep Leaving Textbooks in the Dust". Chicago Business.
  9. ^ "The Daily Start-Up NEA Revolution Back BenchPrep for Online Education". 2012-07-03.
  10. ^ Lora Kolodny (2012-07-03). "BenchPrep Passes Series B Test, Raises $6M". Dow Jones & Company.
  11. ^ BenchPrep (2019-01-15). "BenchPrep Closes $20 Million Series C Round of Funding Co-Led by Jump Capital and Owl Ventures". GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved 2019-03-26.
  12. ^ "BenchPrep raises $20M Series C to double headcount, boost product development". Built In Chicago. Retrieved 2019-03-26.
  13. ^ Meghan Kelly (2011-09-02). "Back to school: Our top 5 digital education tools". Venture Beat.
  14. ^ "Ten Early Stage Education Companies Selected for "Educations Innovators Showcase" At VC in Education Summit". 2010-06-04.
  15. ^ BenchPrep (2020-01-22). "BenchPrep Wins Training Magazine Network's 2019 Learning LMS Choice Award". GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved 2020-02-21.