K-12 Dealmaking: Firefly Raises $5.6 Million; Handshake Raises $20 Million

Contributing Writer

In this week’s dealmaking news, ed-tech startups Firefly Learning and Handshake scored funds from investors.

Firefly Raises $5.6 Million: London-based ed-tech startup Firefly Learning has raised $5.6 million in a Series A round led by BGF Ventures, according to press reports. Beringea also participated in the funding round.

Firefly provides a cloud-based online learning tool for students, teachers and parents. The tool is designed to help users set homework, track progress, share resources and engage parents. The new funding will be used to develop the product through research and development, and expand the sales and marketing team, according to reports.

Handshake Raises $20 Million: Handshake, a career networking platform for college students, has raised $20 million in a Series B funding round led by Spark Capital, according to a blog posting on the company’s website by co-founder and CEO Garrett Lord.

The San Francisco-based company will use the infusion to hire new staff and “build out new tools for career centers and employers, and accelerate our vision for helping students,” Lord wrote. “We want to arm students with the data, content and communities they need to build a meaningful career, particularly through better mobile products and innovative ways to use data to help make career decisions.”

The company was founded in 2014 and partners with more than 170 universities.

LightSail Partners With Troxell: LightSail Education, a company focused on improving K-12 literacy with an adaptive reading platform, has partnered with Troxell Communications to further integrate its digital literacy platform onto more Google Chromebooks in classrooms nationwide, the companies said in a press statement.

Troxell provides solutions for education technology and collaborative solutions in K-12, higher education, government and corporate. As an authorized Chromebook reseller, Troxell provides an alternative leasing option and bundling option for more schools to provide access to top learning technology.

Be sure to check back on Marketplace K-12 for updates on mergers, acquisitions, fundraising, and other dealmaking. Also see EdWeek Market Brief, a service that gives companies operating in the market insights on the needs and priorities of school officials.

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