By guest blogger Kevin Connors
The ed-tech venture capital market is booming, school is starting, and these four companies are growing. From spending to surveys, here are your highlights:
BrightBytes: San Francisco-based BrightBytes added another $33 million of venture capital in a Series C round led by Insight Venture Partners. The three-year-old ed-tech company developed Clarity, a platform that analyzes how school spending in key areas, such as dropout prevention and leadership effectiveness, impact student outcomes. Approximately 20 percent of schools in the United States use Clarity, the company said in a recent statement, and the new funding will be used to expand the Clarity platform and BrightBytes’ global presence. Bessemer Venture Partners, Learn Capital, and Rethink Education also participated in this round, and BrightBytes has now raised a total of $51.5 million.
Panorama: $12 million to Panorama Education, a company that collects and analyzes survey data from teachers, parents, and students. The Boston-based startup helps schools use the feedback to plan professional development and address critical issues, such as student engagement and school culture. Panorama says that it serves more than 3 million students across 40 states, with 14 of the nation’s 100 largest districts adopting the platform. The company is a past participant of Y Combinator and has also partnered with the Harvard Graduate School of Education to help schools release open-source survey instruments. Owl Ventures and Spark Capital participated in this Series A round of funding, which will be used to increase its workforce and increase its data collection and analysis capabilities.
DataCamp: A year ago GeekWire wrote about the rising demand for computer science education, and while universities try to meet most of that demand, online education companies have also sought to meet it. DataCamp is one such business. The company, which has offices in Belgium and Cambridge, MA, just raised $1 million to help students learn data science skills. Founder John Cornelissen told TechCrunch that there is a big gap right now between the need for people with data science skills and the number of people who have them. Currently, the company offers courses in R, the statistical programming language, and it seeks to add more subjects in the coming year. The seed round was led by Chris Lynch at Accomplice, an early-stage venture capital firm based out of Cambridge, MA.
Montessorium: The 100-year-old teaching philosophy of Maria Montessori is now at your—or your child’s—fingertips, thanks to Montessorium and its $1 million funding round. The Sioux Falls, SD-based startup creates Montessori-inspired apps for the iPhone and iPad that help young children learn concepts such as math, letters, or world geography. The $1 million investment from Bluestem Capital Appreciation Fund will be used to develop more apps and help the company “reach a global audience,” cofounder Bobby George said in a statement.
For more news on mergers, acquisitions, and venture capital in education, follow Marketplace K-12’s “K-12 Dealmaking” series.