K-12 Dealmaking: Apptegy Raises $5.7 Million; BookNook Raises $1.2 Million

Contributing Writer

Last week, a handful of ed-tech startups including digital framework developer Apptegy and BookNook, an instructional technology company, announced funding rounds. In addition, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) announced its latest cohort.

Apptegy Raises $5.7 Million: Little Rock, Ark.- based Apptegy, a provider of a digital framework for schools that allows districts to manage interactions across devices and social networks, has closed a $5.7 million strategic growth investment from Five Elms Capital, according to a statement.

Apptegy CEO Jeston George said the investment will allow the company to further enhance its product offerings and accelerate sales and marketing efforts.

With each partner district, Apptegy builds a custom mobile app and website that integrates with the Thrillshare framework, “giving school leaders a single tool to manage communication,” according to the company.

“Apptegy has changed the way school districts communicate with their constituents, providing key district information and highlighting student achievement without the hassles of working with multiple technology vendors,” said Ryan Mandl, partner at Five Elms Capital.

BookNook Raises $1.2 Million: Instructional technology company BookNook has raised $1.2 million in seed funding. Reach Capital led the round, and was joined by Urban Innovation Fund, Better Ventures, and Impact Engine, according to press reports.

The Oakland, Calif.-based company combines “great texts, standards-based curriculum, and a simple user interface to empower anyone to lead small group learning, anywhere” and syncs up to five devices that access a shared library of books and lessons, according to its website.

Takshila Raising $10 Million: New Delhi, India-based online education company Takshila Learning is close to raising $10 million in a Series A funding round, according to press reports.

Takshila Learning will expand its presence globally across Africa, the U.S., the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and that it will focus on affordability and accessibility to increase its existing customer base of 10,000 students, according to The Economic Times.

Zzish Raises $1 Million: London-based education app platform Zzish has closed a $1.9 million funding round, bringing the firm’s total funds raised since its 2014 launch to approximately $3.8 million, according to Tech City News.

The round was conducted using crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, according to reports; European EdTech venture fund Leaf Investments, and Neil Hutchison, angel investor and founder of the Forward Internet Group, participated in the round.

Zzish aims to provide universal teacher dashboards that any app can plug into and that gamify student learning in the classroom while giving teachers instant insight into student learning gaps, according to the company, which was founded by former Google product manager Charles Wiles.

SETDA Unveils New Cohort: The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the principal membership association representing U.S. state and territorial digital learning leaders, has unveiled its fifth annual cohort of Emerging Private Sector Partners. These nine education technology startups were selected through a competitive application process and will be introduced as a cohort at the upcoming Emerging Technologies Forum on June 24 and 25 in San Antonio, Texas, according to a statement.

The companies invited to participate in this year’s cohort were selected from a pool of applicants based on their status as an emerging company, capacity to leverage technology to serve a need in PreK-12 or pre-service education, and their potential to scale on a state-wide and multi-state basis, the association said. The companies selected are: CatchOn, Cignition, Inc., Level Up Village, Mathspace, Inc., Open Assessment Technologies, and others.

The program is designed to foster opportunities for startups to be seen and heard by state and national digital learning leaders.

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

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