K-12 Dealmaking: Classcraft, Tenka Labs, Kings Learning Raise Funds

Contributing Writer

In the latest dealmaking news, ed-tech companies including Classcraft, Tenka Labs–the creator of Circuit Cubes– and India-based Kings Learning raised funds.

Classcraft Raises $2.8 Million: Education technology startup Classcraft has closed a round of early-stage venture capital funding, securing $2.8 million to scale its platform, according to a statement.

Toronto-based Whitecap Venture Partners led the funding round with Brightspark Ventures, MaRS Catalyst Fund, backed by Richard Branson’s Virgin Unite, and previous investors following on.

Classcraft, which is based in Quebec and New York City, offers a platform “designed to turn the experience of going to school into a role-playing game, played over the course of a school year.” Classcraft aims to enhance classroom management, augments existing curriculum, and gamifies practices for social-emotional learning and positive behavioral interventions and supports for teachers and administrators.

“This platform has already seen early success, and we are proud to help the team to grow its business so the impact of the platform can transform as many classrooms as possible,” said Joe Catalfamo, partner at Whitecap Venture, who will be joining Classcraft’s board of directors.

“Our mission with Classcraft is to reimagine the classroom with collaborative play at the center of the experience,” said Devin Young, Classcraft co-founder and president, in a statement.“We’re extremely proud of the impact this approach has had with students, particularly around social-emotional learning. With this round of funding, our focus now is to build an even richer gaming ecosystem through partnerships and self-paced, personalized learning.”

Tenka Labs Raises Additional $2 Million: Sausalito, Calif.-based Tenka Labs, a developer of STEM toys for children ages 8 and up, raised an additional $2 million in seed funding from investors, according to TechCrunch.

The company, creator of Circuit Cubes, electronic building blocks that integrate with LEGO-style building blocks, raised $2.1 million last February. Circuit Cubes are designed to teach the basic fundamentals of electronics and can be used with any materials, according to the company.

India’s Kings Learning, NEST Education Raise Funds From Dell: Bengalaru-based English learning startup Kings Learning has raised a funding of $2.5 million from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, together with other US-based tech investors, according to press reports.

Kings Learning was not the only Indian ed-tech startup to receive funding from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation recently. NEST Education (Naandi Education and Support Training), owner and operator of learning centers under the brand name, alphabyte- The Learning Terminal, received $600,000 in follow-on funding from the foundation and Anad Mahindra, chairman and managing director of the Mahindra Group, according to reports.

EDUGILD Unveils Fourth Class of Startups: The Pune, India-based ed-tech accelerator, has selected five India-based ed-tech startups for its latest cohort, according to the accelerator’s website and press reports. The five startups are Edvantics, KnowHassles, Musein, Vidya Robotics and TrisLabs.

EDUGILD, which was founded by the Maharashtra Institute of Technology’s Academy of Engineering & Educational Research, offers selected startups mentoring by industry leaders and also a platform to beta test their products and solutions.

The Advisory Board Company to Sell Education Business: The Advisory Board Company, a provider of research, technology and consulting to health care organizations and education institutions, has agreed to sell its education business to Vista Equity Partners for approximately $1.55 billion, according to a statement.

As a Vista Equity Partners portfolio company, the advisory board’s education business, EAB, will operate as a standalone business, according to the statement. Vista also owns K-12 student information systems and services provider PowerSchool.

The sale of the education business is expected to close by the end of 2017 or in early 2018.

West, Education Funding Partners Form Partnership: West Corporation and Education Funding Partners have agreed to a partnership that will integrate EFP’s digital-marketing platform with the West’s SchoolMessenger Presence web platform and give its customers the optional ability to “turn-on” adNet and begin running ads from a proprietary list of education-friendly brands.

West’s SchoolMessenger platform offers products and services including notifications, websites, custom mobile apps and social media. EFP develops and manages marketing partnerships between the K-12 public school community and U.S. corporations that generate new revenue for districts.

EFP has relationships with “education-appropriate” brands like Walmart, CVS, Target and Amazon Rapids, which want to connect with parents and teachers through school district website environments, the company said. Revenue generated through EFP adNet is used to help fill in funding gaps, according to the company.

Be sure to check back on Marketplace K-12 for updates on mergers, acquisitions, fundraising, and other dealmaking.

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