ENGRADE: $5 million to Santa Monica, CA-based Engrade in a Series B round led by Javelin Venture Partners, with existing investor Rethink Education participating. (Others include Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, Kapor Capital, Expansion Capital and Ed-Mentor.) The company previously raised $3 million in 2012. Here's the press release.
Engrade began in 2003 as an online gradebook and has since offered teachers other tools to track attendance, create and assign quizzes, and handle other classroom management tasks. With users in more than 40,000 schools, the company now has set its eyes on a bigger target: districts.
Engrade CEO Zach Posner showed EdSurge some of its new API capabilities that integrate the data, curriculum and tools that schools use within the platform. Teachers and students can access different content from third parties via a single sign-on mechanism. (It's become a high-demand feature offered by the likes of LearnSprout and Clever.)
In addition, Engrade can also collect data from third-party providers and display them in its report. From the dashboard, teachers can track student performance on specific Common Core micro-standards by seeing the activity and data on all content that has been tagged with that standard.
These features are currently available only at the district level for a per-student annual license fee. Posner estimated the average cost for districts will run $10 per student per year, with additional costs for custom configurations.
Engrade's new focus could offer content providers a new distribution channel. It currently has 40 partners, including both small, OER providers and big-name publishers. Engrade does not charge an integration fee, but Posner noted that these content providers were specifically requested by Engrade's users.
As Engrade seeks to grow, so, too, will demand for other services and content. Ultimately, its plan to achieve district-level scale may help other companies do so as well.