Academia.edu

San Francisco
26 - 50 Employees
26 - 50 Engineers
$25M - $50M Funding
Series C

Academia is building a new distribution and peer review platform. Our mission is to accelerate the world’s research and make every academic publication available for free to anyone, anywhere, in any language, and in any format.

Academia.edu was founded in 2008 in San Francisco by ​Richard Price​ who recognized the need for open access of scholarly work while he was a doctoral candidate in philosophy at Oxford University.

Academia has built a network of Academics around the world who access our platform through their desktop and now mobile devices to collaborate, review newsfeeds, make recommendations on papers, create a new way of evaluating the quality of a paper with PaperRank, and achieve “aha” moments by participating in live, real-time collaborative sessions. Academia’s platform has registered more than 100 million users (growing at over 70,000 per day), with over 10M MAU, and over 110,000 premium subscribers paying $10/mo, which is yielding $9M per year in cash flow for the company. Our registrations have grown from 30 million to 80 million during the past 2-years . Subscribers to Premium have grown from zero to 110,000 in the past 1 ½ years. We have over 70 million unique visitors come to our website every month (this has doubled in the last year).

Historically, Academic journals have controlled the publishing process. Usually 2 peer reviewers evaluate the quality of the paper, and either reject it or approve it. It is then published by the journal and is put behind a paywall. It typically costs $50-$100 to get the paper out from the paywall. The process of submitting to publishing usually takes a minimum of 12-months or longer.

Academia’s mission is to disrupt this $10B industry.

We’re located 2+ blocks from Montgomery BART in downtown San Francisco.

We’re a Ruby on Rails shop, with React on the frontend. All of our engineers are full-stack, and virtually all of them are computer scientists. We value and recruit computer science generalists at Academia.

We have over 45 full time employees and over 26 in engineering.

Academia has raised over $33.8 million from a range of investors, including Tencent, Khosla Ventures, True Ventures, and Spark Ventures.

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Active Roles
Why join us?
  • We're turning cash flow positive, and are growing revenue, with over 110,000 premium subscribers paying $10/mo or $100/year.

  • We're the dominant player in a $10B worldwide market, growing faster than our nearest competitor. We are #1 in user base and user distribution.

  • If you're interested in large-scale internet software, then technical challenges are huge: >100M registered users, >10M MAU, over 110,000 paying subscribers, over 70M monthly uniques.

  • We are 46 employees, with 28 in engineering. If you want to join a company that's going cash flow positive, has a lot of money in the bank, and is growing.


Engineering at Academia.edu
Engineering team and processes

Our teams consist of engineers, a product manager and a designer We organize our teams as groups that work together. Groups move onto products/features as needed. We hire generalist software engineers, and all engineers work in the full stack. We have daily stand-ups, and continuous check-ins.

Technical Challenges

You'll be working on such systems as:

  • communications and messaging tools to facilitate collaboration and feedback
  • an engaging and scalable peer review system to facilitate the identification & wide-scale distribution of high quality academic research
  • A scalable newsfeed, highlighting the latest research in every field, and making it more interactive and exciting. (which has never been done before)
  • tools and platforms that enable academics to publish directly on the Academia's social network
  • advanced search products and personalized analytics
  • backend to a mobile client, with very low latency.
Projects you might work on
  • Newsfeed. Our Newsfeed is ready for re-engineering. Imagine >100M registered users, with multiple registered interests, and many publications and connections. Then create a dynamic, interesting, interactive newsfeed.

Tech stack
Ruby on Rails
React
PostgreSQL
Redis
Kafka
Elastic Search
AWS
Neo4j
EC2

Working at Academia.edu

We run an open, transparent, and collaborative company. The CEO gives a board presentation, and the next day he'll show the same deck to all employees. Cash flow and product plans are openly shown to everyone. We value honesty, wisdom and clear communication.

Generous Vacation

We offer over 4-weeks (21-days) of paid vacation, plus a liberal sick leave policy, plus the 11 holiday days.

Free Food

All meals are prepared by local vendors and delivered for lunch every day. Our kitchen area is stocked with fresh food on demand from employees.

Beautiful Office

Our office is located 3-blocks from Montgomery BART. We've moved, in order to accommodate our growth, but we're still within 3-blocks of Montgomery BART.

Company Retreats

Twice a year, we choose an offsite location, and spend 3-days working together collaboratively on new product ideas.

For example, this past summer, we rented out two huge homes in Lake Tahoe, and had a 3-day offsite.

Maternal/Paternal Leave

We support parents with children. Out of our 46-current employees, we have 7 employees with children, and two pregnant spouses. We offer 12-weeks for any parent (father or mother) of fully paid leave for a birth.

Flexible Hours

Most engineers arrive between the hours of 8:30am-10:30am, some arriving earlier, some later. Most engineers leave between 5:30pm-7:30pm; some leaving earlier, some leaving later. I'd say most engineers are onsite between 10-6. If you need to work from home due to a delivery or for some other reason, we support that.

Transportation

We offer a pre-tax commuter benefit.

401(k) Contribution

We currently offer a 401(k) plan. We are considering a company match to that.

Health Insurance

We provide full medical, dental and vision coverage. 100% employer paid for employee and their dependent's coverage as well (including California Legally Registered Domestic Partnerships as well as legally married couples).

Work from Home

We let engineers work from home if they need to. We prefer that you work in the office because synergy and collaboration are much better that way, but if you need to, you may work from home.

Relocation

We offer a relocation allowance if you need to move in order to work at Academia, regardless of whether that's across the country, or from one part of the Bay Area to another.

Team Activities

We have a weekly team activity (not everyone attends). We've hired a guy named Coach B and he takes a group on a City run/walk/exercise event.

We have a foosball table, and folks have organized themselves; there are teams and individual competitions. Not everyone plays, but those who do are avid players.

Smaller groups breakoff and go out to dinner or to local entertainment together.

Travel

Twice a year, we do college recruiting, and send teams of engineers to these sites. So, while this is work, it's also sort of a perk, in that you get to fly to a University town, eat some great food, and meet super engineers from top universities and recruit them.

Gym/Fitness

We have Coach B who comes every Tuesday for a group work out if you like. Coach B is a fitness guru.

Other

We offer a fully paid 6-week sabbatical on your 4th work anniversary.

Workshops/Conferences

We encourage our engineers to go to workshops and conferences they're interested in.


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