Edtech Business

Unconventional (and Timely) Fundraising Tips for Edtech Startups

Hi Guido & Esteban,

My edtech company has started achieving rapid user adoption and we believe we have a compelling story to start fundraising. As we get all of our ducks in a row to start approaching VCs, I’m wondering, is there a specific time where VCs are more actively looking for companies to invest in? Conversely, is there a downtime?

— Time Sensitive

Dear Time Sensitive,

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Tinkergarten Raises $5.4M to Get Kids to Go Outside, Play and Learn

For Brian Fitzgerald, what began as a newborn side project in 2012—when he was working at edtech startup Knewton—has become a fully-grown venture of its own.Tinkergarten, which operates a network of outdoor-based classes for young children, has raised $5.4 million in a Series A round led by Owl Ventures. Existing investors Omidyar Network and Reach Capital also contributed. (Disclosure: all three are also investors in EdSurge.) The Northampton, Mass.-based startup has now raised $8.3 million in total funding.

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How Edtech Developers Design Around ‘Screen Fatigue’

When I think about education technology, images of engaged students in front of computers and tablets come to mind. I imagine wide-eyed kids with big smiles, just like the ones I see on edtech product pages.But at the moment, there’s reason to question these expectations—and expect more.

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Frontline Education is swapping one private equity owner for a bigger one. Today the Malvern, Penn.-based education company announced it will be acquired by Thoma Bravo, a major private equity firm with offices in San Francisco and Chicago. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Frontline CEO Tim Clifford tells EdSurge in an interview that “the company is valued in the unicorn range, well north of a billion dollars.”

Microcredentials and Macro-dollars: How an Online Ad Led 2U's Chip Paucek to Make a $120M Bet

Chip Paucek is an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur. After two other startups sputtered, Paucek cofounded and runs 2U, which made its debut on the public market in March 2014. It closed that first day at $13.90 and has since grown to more than $50 a share. He lives the product, too: Paucek earned his own MBA by taking classes through 2U’s program with North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

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Money Talks: Duolingo Raises $25M More (at a $700M Valuation)

As the chief executive behind one of the world’s most popular language-learning tools, Luis von Ahn ironically struggles with picking up a new tongue. “I’m actually very bad at learning languages, which is pretty funny, considering what I do,” the CEO and co-founder of Duolingo said in an email to EdSurge. An English and Spanish speaker, von Ahn is “making good progress” on learning Portuguese and hopes to tackle French next.

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Fueled by Big Rounds, US Edtech Funding Surges to $887M in First Half of 2017

The bull is back—or is it? After a dip in dealflow and venture capital to U.S. edtech companies last year, the dollars returned with a fury during the first six months of 2017. According to our tally, there were 58 U.S. deals that totalled more than $887 million through June of this year.

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?Another Major Coding Bootcamp, Iron Yard, Announces Closure

The Iron Yard, a Greenville, S.C.-based coding bootcamp, is closing up shop. The school wrote in a blog post today that it will be ceasing operations at all of its 15 campuses around the U.S. after its current 12-week session finishes.“In considering the current environment, the board of The Iron Yard has made the difficult decision to cease operations at all campuses after teaching out remaining summer cohorts. We will finish out summer classes completely, including career support,” the announcement reads.

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Kahoot Gets $10 Million—and a Spot in the Disney Accelerator

Most students associate Kahoot with its addictive, funky theme song. Today the Norwegian company is groovin’ to a different tune: ka’ching!

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Amazon Inspire Goes Live (But Without Controversial Share Feature)

After more than a year of invitation-only private beta, Amazon just opened its free library of open-education resources, called Amazon Inspire.
Well, it’s more accurate to say the site is partially open. Amazon Inspire is still missing its most controversial feature—the ability for any teacher to share lesson plans, worksheets, and other materials with colleagues.

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