By guest blogger Kevin Connors
In its first attempt at raising venture capital funds, OpenEd, a free online catalog of common-core aligned materials, had one firm open its pocket book – for $2 million.
The funds were raised during a seed round, with PivotNorth Capital as the sole investor. The $2 million investment comes after a $10 million valuation and serves as the first outside financing for the company. OpenEd’s previous investors were none other than the firm’s co-founders, Adam and Lisa Blum, who invested $500,000 to help launch the company in 2012.
The Los Gatos, Calif.-based OpenEd has seen its catalog of web-based educational videos, games, and exercises increase from 250,000 at its inception to more than 1 million today. That growth, in addition to the site’s ability to make algorithm-based recommendations for students, parents, and teachers, seemed to appeal to PivotNorth.
OpenEd plans to use the new funds to continue building out more apps and capabilities, especially as they look to cover national education standards for Mexico, Scotland, and Singapore in the coming months.
But perhaps the biggest X factor for the fate of OpenEd is the fate of the Common Core State Standards. As the standards continue to be more politicized and support for them fades in some states, the future of those academic guidelines is uncertain. A key question for future investors is this: How will OpenEd, whose website says is “completely focused on offering common- core resources,” respond?
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