K-12 Dealmaking: AI-Focused Startup Raises $14.6M in Series A; Private-Equity Firm Sells Early Education Program

Staff Writer
K-12 Dealmaking, EdWeek Market Brief

The California-based startup Kyron Learning raised $14.6 million in Series A funding, led by Global Silicon Valley Ventures.

Other participants in the funding round include Owl Ventures, ECMC Group Education Impact Fund, Common Sense Growth Fund, Charter School Growth Fund, Cambiar Education, LearnerStudio, Imagine Learning, and Array Education.

The capital will be used to build out the startup’s platform business and to develop generative AI capabilities in its aim to provide learners with equitable access to quality instructors.

Kyron Learning has also received a $850,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to go toward building its K-12 math curriculum and studying the efficacy of interactive videos in learning environments.

With offices in Boston and Seattle, Kyron Learning works to deliver AI-powered tutoring, through the use of on-demand videos.

Private equity firm sells early education provider. Chicago-based private equity firm Avathon Capital sold Big Blue Marble Academy to Leeds Equity Partners.

Big Blue Marble Academy, founded in 2012, provides early childhood education programs to children from infancy to age four.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Avathon, which invests in lower middle-market companies in the education and workforce markets, initially invested in Big Blue Marble Academy in October 2018. Under its ownership, the academy more than tripled in size to 67 schools across eight states.

This marks Avathon’s fifth transaction since its founding in 2015.

“As proponents of investing for growth, the team at Avathon enabled us to strengthen our operational foundation and lay the robust groundwork for a bright and promising future with our new partner,” said Jeff Wahl, who became CEO of the academy in 2020.

Baird and William Blair served as financial advisers to Big Blue Marble Academy, and BakerHostetler served as its legal counsel.

Web3-focused ed-tech company acquired. Rise In acquired BlockBeam, a web3-focused ed-tech company that trains college students, with the goal of building the next generation of web3 developers in the U.S.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition will add around 1,000 web3 developers from the U.S. to Turkish-founded Rise In. The company will also gain access to BlockBeam’s existing partnerships with more than 90 university blockchain clubs, including Princeton Blockchain Club, Blockchain at Berkeley, and Harvard Blockchain.

Web3 technologies are often defined as efforts to create a next-generation internet community which has more decentralized access — outside of the control of major internet providers — and uses technologies such as blockchain.

Launched in September 2023, Rise In provides seeks to provide free web3 education with the help of some of the biggest blockchain ecosystems in the world. The company provides an e-learning and bootcamp management platform with more than 200,000 web2 developers from 90 countries, with the goal of onboarding them to web3.

The education programs cover introduction to blockchain training to chain-specific technical courses.

Future plans include launching an internship program for college students, who make up 31 percent of its bootcamp applications.

“We are excited to see Rise In continue to generate opportunities for talent and companies, and to accelerate U.S. expansion with our assets,” said Drew Cousin, co-founder of BlockBeam.

Former Unacademy COO raises $11M. Vivek Sinha, who previously served as chief operating officer for Indian ed-tech platform Unacademy for three years, has raised $11 million for a new ed-tech venture.

The funding round included participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Matrix Partners, and angel investors, such as Ritesh Agarwal, the CEO and founder of India-based hospitality company Oyo Rooms, and Gaurav Munjal, CEO and co-founder of Unacademy.

Sinha’s startup, registered under the name Beyond Odds, is set to focus on upskilling, particularly in the health care industry.

Sinha previously served as a business head at Oyo between April 2018 and September 2020.

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Image by Getty.

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