K-12 Dealmaking: Brightwheel Takes In $10 Million; TinyTap, VKidz Raise Funds

Contributing Writer

In the latest dealmaking news, brightwheel, a management and communications platform for early childhood education providers, has raised $10 million from a variety of investors, including the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Mark Cuban Companies. In addition, Israeli educational games company TinyTap and VKidz Holdings raised funds.

brightwheel Raises $10 Million: brightwheel, a provider of management and communication software for early education, has raised $10 million in new financing.

The Series A round was led by GGV Capital with participation from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, ICONIQ, and existing investors Eniac Ventures, Golden Venture Partners, Lowercase Capital, Mark Cuban Companies, and RRE Ventures, according to the company. Angel investors included Adam Grant, April Underwood, Dave Gilboa, Elizabeth & Kevin Weil, Felix Anthony, Scott Cannon, and Tina Sharkey.

The San Francisco-based company said the new round of financing will be used to accelerate product development and expand the team. “This funding will enable a host of new features and a larger customer success team to collaborate with schools and educators,” according to a statement from the company.

Brightwheel provides is a platform for preschools, childcare providers, camps, and afterschool program and claims to combine “all the required systems to run a school and business into a single fast and easy-to-use solution that saves both time and money, while improving the educational experience for young students.”

Last year, the company raised $600,000 from investors Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca via the television show Shark Tank. (See the EdWeek Market Brief story, “How I Survived the Shark Tank: An Ed-Tech Entrepreneur Speaks” for brightwheel founder Dave Vasen’s description of what it was like to compete on the show.)

In November, brightwheel acquired MyChild, a paperless parent engagement tool for schools and childcare providers, for an undisclosed sum.

TinyTap Raises $1.5 Million: Tel Aviv-based educational games developer TinyTap has raised $1.5 million Hong Kong based Animoca, Israeli micro-venture capital fund Inimiti VC, and New York Angels, according to press reports.

Reports said the company plans to use the new funding to develop an online marketplace through which teachers can earn money from games that they’ve developed on the TinyTap platform.

TinyTap describes itself as “a social platform which empowers families, teachers and students to learn from each other by creating their own personalized learning apps and playing thousands of new ones shared daily by a worldwide community of educators and learners worldwide.”

Private Equity Firm VSS Invests in VKidz Holdings: Veronis Suhler Stevenson, a private equity investment firm focused on the information, business services, healthcare and education industries, has completed a “significant investment” in VKidz Holdings, a provider of subscription-based, online curriculum for the homeschool, elementary school, and parent markets, according to a statement. The investment amount was not disclosed.

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based VKidz is comprised of two divisions with four core programs—its homeschool division (Time4Learning and Time4Writing) and its elementary school division (VocabularySpellingCity and Science4Us).

“Over the last decade, VKidz has developed, licensed and marketed a very successful portfolio of engaging and educationally-effective products,” David Bainbridge, managing director at VSS, said in the statement.

“The products utilize game-based features for the students and insightful reports for administrators, teachers, and parents. VKidz blends advanced technology with old-fashioned dedication to supporting their users.”

Galore Raises $1.65 Million: Galore, a mobile application that aims to allow parents book activities for their children and helps local providers to reach new customers, has raised $1.65 million in seed funding led by Norwest Venture Partners and DCM Ventures.

“The funding will be used to further develop the company’s mobile apps for parents and powerful tools for providers, and add more partners in the Bay Area and beyond,” according to a statement. The platform is currently available in the San Francisco Bay Area on both iOS and Android.

Blackboard, Chalk.com Form Partnership: Blackboard Inc. and Ontario, Canada-based ed-tech company Chalk.com have formed a partnership to deliver a digital gradebook and portfolio for K-12 educators, according to a statement from the companies.

“The unique offering will provide teachers and parents with deeper insights into student performance, helping every learner reach their full potential,” the companies said.

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

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