K-12 Dealmaking: Classcraft, WhiteHat Jr. Raise Funding; Renaissance Adds a New Partner

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In recent dealmaking news, an online provider of coding-focused content, WhiteHat Jr., raised $10 million in funding, while Classcraft, a Canadian provider, also pulled in a multi-million dollar investment. A Virginia-based startup raised funding in a pre-seed round. And Renaissance, a provider of literacy, assessment and math solutions, has announced a partnership with William H. Sadlier, Inc., a publisher of K-12 educational and catechetical programs.

Classcraft Raises $7.5 million. Classcraft, which offers a platform meant to boost student engagement, announced that it raised $7.5 million in a Series A round.

The funding round was led by Investissement Québec. Classcraft—which was founded in 2013 and is based in Quebec and New York—also received support in the round from Whitecap Venture Partners, Brightspark Ventures, and MaRS Catalyst Fund.

The company says it now reaches 6 million K-12 users. The new capital will help it “deepen its ability to motivate students by harnessing the power of games,” according to a press statement. In that same announcement, Classcraft also noted that it has appointed its first-ever chief revenue officer: Michele Shively, who most recently served as VP of sales at Nearpod.

“At Classcraft, our aspirations go beyond student engagement. We’re aiming to foster the type of intrinsic motivation that makes students care about succeeding in school,” said Shawn Young, CEO and Co-Founder of Classcraft, in a statement. “We’ve made an incredible impact working with educators to improve outcomes like social-emotional learning, academic performance, and school climate. This investment allows us to scale these efforts while developing new ways of leveraging games, technology, and experiences to create cultures of engagement.”

In describing its ambitions, the company also pointed to a partnership it has established with Thierry Karsenti, a University of Montreal professor, to study the responsible use of AI to engage K-12 students in the U.S. and Canada. And in June, Classcraft debuted Story Mode, which pushes the boundaries of what it means to go to school by helping teachers re-create the type of shared experience delivered by popular TV shows and games.

WhiteHat Jr. Closes Series A: An India-based ed-tech company, WhiteHat Jr., has raised $10 million in Series A funding from two of its existing investors, according to reports. The capital comes from investors Nexus Venture Partners and Omidyar Network India, as well as Owl Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund, according to CNBC.

Owl Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based ed-tech focused venture capital fund, also joined in backing the startup.

WhiteHat Jr. uses live, online courses to teach students ages 6-14 basics of coding. The company was launched in 2018. The new funding will be used to improve WhiteHat Jr.’s existing technology platform, expand the course curriculum, and increase visibility in the market, according to the report.

Renaissance Announces Strategic Partnership with William H. Sadlier, Inc.  Renaissance, a pre-K–12 education technology company, announced that it has welcomed William H. Sadlier, Inc., a publisher of K–12 educational and catechetical programs, as its newest strategic partner. The partnership will pair Renaissance’s Star Math interim assessments with Sadlier’s Progress in Mathematics and Sadlier Math—core math programs designed to help teachers in Catholic, private, and public schools connect assessment data with instruction and practice to create individual learning paths for each student.

The move is the latest partnership in the Renaissance Growth Alliance, an initiative that shares information among educational programs. Its aim is to offer teachers and administrators a 360-degree view of each student’s strengths and areas in need of improvement. Through the Growth Alliance, educators can connect assessment data with instruction and practice to create individual learning paths for each student.

“Through our Growth Alliance partnerships with the trailblazers and leaders in K–12 education, Renaissance is breaking down silos and improving teacher choice so that educators can easily access all the data and resources they need to support and accelerate student learning,” said Todd Brekhus, chief product officer at Renaissance, in the announcement. “Through this new collaboration with Sadlier, we’re demonstrating our commitment to providing innovative, teacher-first, student-centered solutions to all schools—Catholic, private, public, and more.”

“At Sadlier, we’re honored to provide best-in-class math curricula and learning resources to educators and students across the country,” said Ray Fagan, the president and CEO of Sadlier, in the announcement. “In our new partnership with Renaissance, we look forward to helping teachers make more informed decisions to support their students in even greater math achievement.”

The partnership enables a seamless connection between Star Math, Sadlier Math, and Progress in Mathematics by using Star data to place students at the right instructional level and pace instruction for their unique needs and learning objectives.

Trilogy Mentors Closes Pre-Seed Round. Software-as-service provider Trilogy Mentors said it has raised $835,000 in a round led by Michael Silverman, co-founder of Rosetta Stone, and the MacLaurin Group.

Based in Richmond, Virginia, Trilogy Mentors is a cloud-based tech platform that began as an in-person program and made a transition to a tech company in 2018.

“Trilogy Mentors is now a SaaS company that is helping educators through digital transformation with a focus on relationship-based, holistic learning,” said John Failla, founder of Trilogy Mentors, in a statement. “Our unique cloud-based technology empowers educators, including brick and mortar tutor companies, to launch and scale a branded, online learning platform,” Failla continued. “We are creating the Shopify of the ed-tech world.”

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