X’S AND O’S TO JOIN THE Y: The folks behind Silicon Valley’s first edtech accelerator, Imagine K12, have kept pretty mum since merging with Y Combinator back in February. But this month they’ve posted guidelines for edtech products, or more specifically, “a common set of expectations to which Y Combinator will hold edtech companies, particularly student-facing curriculum products.”
It’s a fairly comprehensive checklist that covers best practices around communicating practices around product information, privacy safeguards, pricing and pilots. “By providing appropriate opportunities and support for demos and pilots,” the post states, “edtech companies can help schools and districts make wise decisions regarding the use of their resources, ensure that their partnerships are positive, and optimize for student success.”
SPARK SCHOOLS, which operates a network of primary schools in South Africa, has raised $9 million in a Series B round led by Omidyar Network. Founded in 2012, the company aims to grow from eight to 20 schools, serving 20,000 students, by 2019. SPARK uses a blended learning approach that uses programs such as ST Math and Reading Eggs. Check out more background on the founders and the school model from our coverage of SPARK’s founding story here.
ACEABLE, which offers a mobile app for driver’s ed courses, has raised $4 million in a Series A round led by Silverton Partners and Floodgate Ventures. The Austin, Texas-based startup, which claims more than 35 percent market share for online driver’s ed courses in Texas and California, has now raised $8.7 million, according to Crunchbase. Founded in 2012, Aceable plans to to expand its content to cover skills related to real estate, human resources, nursing and food safety industries.
THINK THROUGH LEARNING, the developer behind online math program Think Through Math, has been acquired by Provo, Utah-based Imagine Learning. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Imagine Learning is owned by Weld North, a private equity firm that also owns Compass Learning, Edgenuity and a half dozen other edtech companies. Founded in 2002 (then known as Apangea Learning), Think Through Learning had raised more than $10 million in venture capital. Check out our Index for more details and teacher reflections on the Think Through Math.
DOLLARS SECURED: Securly, which offers web filtering services for schools, has raised $4 million in a Series A round led by Owl Ventures. Founded in 2012, the San Jose, Calif.-based startup also claims the ability to use natural language processing to find warning flags in kids’ web searches or social media posts. The company will use the funding to build notification features aimed at parents. More details on TechCrunch.