K-12 Dealmaking: Class Technologies Raises $12 Million From Investors — Including Tom Brady

Staff Writer

Class Technologies, Inc., previously known as ClassEDU, recently raised $12.25 million to accelerate the rollout of software that adds teaching and learning tools to Zoom.

In an announcement Wednesday, the company said its investors in this round of financing include Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, as well as Salesforce Ventures, Sound Ventures, and veteran talent executive Guy Oseary. Class Technologies said it has now raised over $58 million.

“As most parents experienced firsthand, the pandemic highlighted the need for better online teaching and learning technology,” Brady said in a statement. “I am pleased to partner with [Class Technologies CEO] Michael Chasen, a proven education and technology pioneer and fellow father of three, to bring the promise, potential, and power of the digital classroom to people around the world.”

Since Class launched seven months ago, over 7,500 K-12 and higher-ed institutions, as well as global corporations, have expressed interest in using the program, the company said.

This latest round saw continuing investments in Class by previous Zoom investors, including Zoom board member and Emergence Capital General Partner Santi Subotovsky, independent investor Bill Tai, and Maven Partners Founding Managing Partner Jim Scheinman.

Leading ed-tech investment firms also continued their previous investments in Class Technologies, including GSV Ventures partner Deborah Quazzo, Owl Ventures managing director Ian Chiu, Reach Capital, and Insight Partners managing director Jeff Lieberman.

Indian Online Higher Ed. Provider upGrad Raises $120 Million. Mumbai-based upGrad, which bills itself as South Asia’s largest online higher education company, this week announced it has raised $120 million from Singapore-based global investment company Temasek, in the first external funding round raised by the company.

UpGrad intends to use the funding to “further strengthen its team,” globally scale its operations in the U.S. and other growth markets, boost its technology and product capabilities, and pursue merger-and-acquisition opportunities.

It also intends to expand its graduate and post-graduate degree portfolio in India, and scale up operations to reach a $2 billion annual revenue goal by 2026, the company said.

“We welcome Temasek in our mission to power career success for each and every member of the global workforce as their trusted lifelong learning partner and drive meaningful career outcomes,” upGrad co-founders Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar and Phalgun Kompalli said in a statement. “This capital will further fuel our commitment towards global expansion as well as deeper India penetration, as we march forward with our goal of making India the teaching capital of the world.”

UpGrad offers over 100 courses in collaboration with institutions like U.S.-based Duke Corporate Education and Michigan State University, U.K.-based Liverpool John Moores University, Australia-based Deakin Business School, and Geneva-based Swiss School of Business Management.

Area9 Lyceum Receives Strategic Investment From Lego Ventures. Area9 Lyceum, a developer of adaptive learning platforms, announced this month it received a strategic investment from Lego Ventures, the Lego brand’s venture capital arm.

The investment will enable Area9 Lyceum to accelerate development of and market expansion for the company’s next-generation infrastructure for 21st century learning, Area9 Rhapsode.

The company develops adaptive learning platforms for K-12, higher education, and workforce education, and says its products are used by “millions of learners” of all ages and leading global organizations and companies.

“Enabling platforms are key in the transition towards more progressive, project-based pedagogies, and Area9 Lyceum has built market leading technologies that support truly adaptive learning and capture all these aspects of learner development,” Lego Ventures managing director Jamie Beaumont said in a statement. “We are very excited to see the potential of Area9 Lyceum, particularly in supporting learning for schoolchildren across K-12.”

Beaumont is also joining Area9 Lyceum’s board of directors, bringing expertise in finance and operations, as well as Lego Ventures’ commitment to the future of learning, creativity, and play, Area9 Lyceum said.

Degree Raises $153 Million in Series D round. Upskilling platform Degreed has received a $153 million Series D funding round.

Sapphire Ventures and Riverwood Capital co-led the investment, which now puts the company’s value at $1.4 billion.

Funds will be used to accelerate product development, enhance data infrastructure, fuel global expansion, and pursue strategic acquisitions, Degreed said in an announcement. Technology enhancements will be geared toward upgrading the company’s reporting and analytics, ensuring cybersecurity, and enhancing integrations that take Degreed deeper into users’ daily workflow, the company said.

Dan Levin, former COO of cloud content management and file sharing service Box, will succeed Chris McCarthy as CEO of Degreed, while McCarthy will remain in a strategic advisory capacity and sit on Degreed’s board of directors.

“Investing in skills, culture, and career growth has become a critical differentiator for employers,” Riverwood Capital co-founder and managing partner Jeff Parks said in a statement. The company is “focused on the next phase of [the] scalability journey and supporting their mission to equip people with the skills they need to redefine their careers, their companies, their fields, and the world.”

The funding round included participation from previous investors Signal Peak Ventures, Owl Ventures, GSV Ventures, Founders Circle, Contour Venture Partners, Section Partners, and AllianceBernstein, as well as new investor Firework Ventures.

Finalsite Makes Acquisition. Finalsite, a global digital communications, website development, and online marketing company for private and public schools, has acquired SchoolAdmin, a K-12 enrollment management system and developer of tools to help schools manage admissions, enrollment, and tuition billion processes, Finalsite announced.

With the acquisition, Finalsite intends to offer schools several tools specifically designed for education, including a strategic enrollment management platform comprising modules such as automated student/parent communications, appointment scheduling, contracts, and tuition billing.

The combined entity will make it “significantly easier” for schools to manage communications and personalize the entire family journey, from attracting prospective students to retaining families as supportive alumni and lifetime donors, the company said.

“For more than a decade, the SchoolAdmin team has been dedicated to helping schools grow and thrive,” SchoolAdmin CEO and co-founder Nate Little said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be joining forces with Finalsite, a company that shares our commitment to delivering exceptional experiences for customers. We also enjoy similar cultures centered on caring and innovation, with a shared dedication to the communities, families, and educators we serve.”

Social Enterprise Cmpany PAIRIN Snaps Up Case Management/Referral System. PAIRIN, which provides career planning tools for students, private companies, and government employees, has acquired CommunityPro Suite, a multi-agency case management and referral system that integrates data from various source systems, PAIRIN announced.

With the acquisition, PAIRIN says it will be able to accelerate delivery of high-quality technology solutions for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act compliance, service referrals and case management, and foster meaningful collaboration across agencies. The goal is to better support people through multi-agency referrals, case management, common intake processes, and a “robust set of reports,” PAIRIN said.

“The PAIRIN and the CommunityPro Suite teams share a commitment to using data integration and user-centric workflow management to improve how all citizens are connected to education, support and career services,” PAIRIN Chairman and CEO Michael Simpson said in a statement.

“The expanded functionality of our combined systems will further our mission to make everyone’s career journey relevant and equitable, as well as arm workforce, education and government systems with a holistic view of their ecosystem to provide the best career and education resources available.”

PAIRIN’s My Journey and CommunityPro Suite will work as an integrated solution to enable community collective impact coalitions, the company said. The aim is to create the most user-friendly, data-integrated workforce management system available for states and municipalities, a functionality that will allow facilitation of interagency case management and referrals management in support of at-risk, underserved, and under-resourced populations.

Correction: An earlier version of this story inaccurately described a statement from Class Technologies. It has raised $58 million to date.

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