Engrade, the district-level education platform that unifies the data, curriculum, and tools teachers, schools leaders, and administrators use every day by integrating all of a district’s software and systems, today announced it has secured $5 million in a Series B funding round to accelerate its nationwide expansion and product development. The company has grown rapidly in recent years as it has worked with schools and districts to solve one of the most pressing challenges facing schools---connect once disparate systems from a wide array of sources to maximize the learning potential of students.
With the massive changes to the American education system expected over the next decade with the increase in 1:1 and blended learning, school systems need an integrated, cost-effective, and user-friendly technology infrastructure for managing all parts of the instructional process. Engrade integrates all of a district’s resources, including third-party applications and open education resources, into an easy-to-use, single sign-on solution. Used in more than 40,000 schools around the world, Engrade enables districts to manage curriculum planning and evaluation, instruction, assessment, and school-home communications through one fully secure, cloud-based platform, saving time and money.
Javelin Venture Partners, an entrepreneur-driven venture capital fund in San Francisco, led the round. Rethink Education, which led the company’s $3 million Series A round in January of 2012, added to its position. Other participants included Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, Kapor Capital, the investment fund led by prescient technologist and investor Mitchell Kapor, Expansion Capital and Ed-Mentor. This new round will help Engrade meet the rapidly rising demand of U.S. schools and districts for seamless education technology integration. With Samsung Venture Investment Corporation’s investment, Engrade anticipates business collaboration and partnership opportunities with Samsung.
“It is time for schools and districts to have a true platform, not a jumbled collection of tools that keep vital data locked up in separate silos," said Jed Katz of Javelin Venture Partners. "Teachers, administrators, students, and parents are now able to see in one place the full story of an individual’s academic performance and learning needs."
The additional capital will allow Engrade to help districts and school systems more rapidly integrate data, curriculum, and tools from third parties into their classrooms and evaluate the effectiveness of their instructional resources. By using Engrade, districts can more easily transition to the new Common Core State Standards, allowing teachers and administrators to align granular chunks of content and professional development resources with the relevant Common Core skills.
“We are thrilled to work with a group of investors composed of innovative thinkers and experienced leaders who will make excellent partners in reshaping the future of education,” said Engrade CEO Zach Posner. “We are defining a new product category in the education market that provides school districts with a system to use the right content with the right student at the right time to accelerate academic achievement.”
Engrade, which doubled its staff last year to meet the increased demand from school systems around the country, expects that the fresh round of investment will help it expand its staff and product offerings—from advanced tools for content management to programs that will help teachers manage all of their students' data, accessible from any device.