K-12 Dealmaking: Citelighter Raises $2M to Simplify the Writing Process

By guest blogger Kevin Connors

For students, it’s a common scenario: a blank computer screen, a blank mind, and a big research paper due. Perhaps there is even an unhealthy dose of fear and anxiety.K-12_Dealmaking.gif

But teachers can be anxious, too, required to teach a wide range of writing standards to a diverse set of learners, while tracking and assessing that learning to inform tomorrow’s lesson.  

Baltimore-based Citelighter believes it can ease the writing burden. Its online platform, which breaks down the writing process into manageable steps for students, and offers teachers real-time updates on student progress, appears to have won over investors, as well. The ed-tech startup just raised $2 million.

Propel Baltimore Fund led this second round of seed funding. Maryland Venture Fund, Gulf Ventures, New York Angels, Baltimore Angels, and Blu Ventures also participated. In total, Citelighter has now raised $4.5 million since 2011, according to CrunchBase. Founded primarily as a research and citation tool, the company says that over 3,800 schools in 50 countries are now using its more robust platform.

A free version of the tool allows students to organize research, outline their papers, and create final drafts. The premium version, meanwhile, offers much more functionality for teachers and administrators. For instance, teachers can use class-level and individual-level data dashboards, align each part of the assignment to specific standards, leave comments on student work, and access pre-existing prompts, tutorials, and rubrics.

The company plans to use its new funds to add features to the data dashboard and add mobile capabilities for students. In addition to sales and product development, Citelighter also plans to increase its workforce from 40 to 60 employees, some of whom will help train teachers and students to use the tool.

For more news on mergers, acquisitions, and venture capital in education, follow Marketplace K-12’s “K-12 Dealmaking” series. 

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