Outschool, newly profitable, raises a $45M Series B for virtual small group classes

Outschool, which started in 2015 as a platform for homeschooled students to bolster their extracurricular activities, has dramatically widened its customer base since the coronavirus pandemic began.The platform saw its total addressable market increase dramatically as students left campus to abide by COVID regulations instituted by the CDC. Suddenly, live, small-group online learning classes became […]

Extra Crunch Friday roundup: Edtech funding surges, Poland VC survey, inside Shift’s SPAC plan, more

I live in San Francisco, but I work an East Coast schedule to get a jump on the news day. So I’d already been at my desk for a couple of hours on Wednesday morning when I looked up and saw this: What color is the sky this morning pic.twitter.com/nt5dZp5wWc — Walter Thompson (@YourProtagonist) September […]

Toucan raises $3M to teach you new languages as you browse the web

Toucan has developed a Chrome browser extension designed for anyone who wants to learn a new language but hasn’t found the motivation or the time. Once installed, the extension scans the text of any (English-language) website you’re visiting and will automatically translate some of the words into the language you’re trying to learn. If you […]

VCs pour funding into edtech startups as COVID-19 shakes up the market

A few weeks back, The Exchange looked into the pace of edtech exits, noting that over time, the sector has delivered rising exit volume. All startup verticals want to demonstrate a history of liquidity, so you might imagine that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, edtech fundraising was rising due to its improving exit profile. The […]

Kinspire’s new app helps parents find screen-free activities for kids

A new startup called Kinspire wants to make it easier for parents to find activities to help keep kids occupied — away from a screen. The app, which launches with hundreds of activities vetted by parents and teachers alike, arrives at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has many families continuing to engage in social […]

Voice assistants don’t work for kids: The problem with speech recognition in the classroom

Dr. Patricia Scanlon Contributor Share on Twitter Dr. Patricia Scanlon is founder and CEO of SoapBox Labs, a Dublin-based developer of safe and secure speech-recognition technology designed specifically for children. She was named one of Forbes Top 50 Women in Tech in 2018. Before the pandemic, more than 40% of new internet users were children. […]

Edtech startups find demand from an unlikely customer: Public schools

School district technology budgets are tight. But Kami CEO and founder Hengjie Wang wanted to make his company’s digital classroom product a go-to tool anyway. He landed on trying to disrupt the printers. Wang found that school districts spend an average of $150,000 every year on printed materials. Kami helps teachers digitize worksheets so students […]

India’s online learning platform Unacademy raises $150 million at $1.45 billion valuation

India has a new startup unicorn. On Wednesday, Bangalore-based online learning startup Unacademy announced it has raised $150 million in a new financing round that valued the Facebook-backed firm at $1.45 billion (post-money). SoftBank Group — through its Vision Fund 2 — led Unacademy’s Series F financing round, while existing investors Facebook, Blume Ventures, Nexus […]

To reach scale, Juni Learning is building a full-stack edtech experience

 Juni Learning connects kids with math and science tutors, but co-founder Vivian Shen would prefer not to be lumped in with other edtech startups, despite the sector’s pandemic-born boom. “We’re not just in the middle to take a few percentage points off of each side and pretend like we’re delivering value,” said Shen. “That’s not […]

Course Hero, a profitable edtech unicorn, raises rare cash

Like any successful founder, Andrew Grauer had bright, long-term ambitions for Course Hero from the moment he launched it in 2006. He started the business to create a place where students could ask questions and get answers similar to Chegg, which launched 15 months before Course Hero . But as he slowly built it, he […]