EdTech News Roundup 3/21 - 3/27
When it rains, it pours
Lots of funding to get through, so no story. Fingers crossed for some more fun announcements this week as companies prepare for GSV next week.
On to the news!
Funding / M&A / IPOs
Osso VR raises $66M: Osso provides VR training modules for surgeons to practice their craft, allegedly cutting time in the OR by 50% and improving “performance” by 230%. I want to give credit where it is due, but I’d like to see more details on these stats given (seems like a good prospect for Learn Platform’s Evidence-as-a-Service offering!). This funding round will be used to expand Osso’s training library for additional healthcare professionals
Workramp raises $40M: Workramp offers a corporate-focused LMS, with “slide sharing features [that] integrate with workflows in Salesforce, Slack, and Chrome to deliver coaching tips that might improve performance.” Unclear if the might in that feature description was a moment of uncharacteristic earnestness in a funding announcement or a freudian slip on the state of AI
Subject raises $29M: Subject, formerly known as Emile Learning, offers highly produced high school courses across a range of…subjects (sorry). This is, obviously, a lot of money. But, perhaps more importantly, it is also a challenge to incumbent publishers. In a departure from other content-focused K12 curriculum providers, Emile is building both course-production machine and go-to-market machines. The initial results sound positive - the Emile team has won “70+” school districts since last May - an impressive feat given the quirkiness of the K12 sales calendar.1
Learn In raises $10M: Learn In helps companies design personalized training programs for their employees. This includes the increasingly competitive tuition benefits market, but Learn In’s solution set appears to be more widely targeted than the entry-level workers that Guild and SEI tend to focus on
Stellic raises $11M: Stellic provides a planning and pathways platform for college students to choose courses and, eventually, careers. While “college pathways” is a simple goal, Stellic is taking on one of the more technically complex challenges in the higher ed ecosystem in interfacing with student information systems. I’m curious to see whether Stellic’s roadmap focuses more on leveraging this integration for deeper relationships with schools or, in keeping with their roots (the company was founded to solve a problem the founder faced while a student at Carnegie Mellon), building additional use cases for student interactions
Small Business Fullbright Program: gap year and post-grad programs/sabbaticals are rapidly growing from fad to trend - Sheryl Sandberg is on one right now! As a person who learned a lot of my core professional soft skills tending bar and painting houses, I would be excited to see more students/young professionals spend time in small business roles
Schools are not built for climate change: I continue to be concerned about K12 school infrastructure at base level given the volume of students (and funding) leaving the public school system. Add in improvements for climate change and the picture looks pretty bleak
Kids learn more from guided play than instruction: Consider me team “Play” over team “sit in seats and listen.” If this article piques your interest, this Ted talk on school architecture will leave you smiling in your seat (s/o Isabelle Hau for sourcing!)
Learning, Earning, & Web3: Reach Capital’s Jomayra Herrera is leading their charge into Web3 with just the right amount of hype - cautious optimism and the desire to learn more. This slide is particularly helpful for those looking for a framework to explore the space
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A topic for another day! To grossly overgeneralize, the bulk of K12 curriculum sales happen from February-June, meaning Subject has only had 1.5 “sales seasons” to reach these 70 schools