Edtech Business

It's Official: Clever Snaps Up $10.3M Investment

Mar 25, 2014

Awkward? LastDecember, news spread that edtech startup, Clever, had raised series A roundfunding from one of Silicon Valley's blue bloods, Sequoia. Anything left tosay?

Now the company is spilling the details: The number is $10.3million. The deal was indeed led by Sequoia and partner Bryan Schreier isjoining the two-man board. (Chief executive and cofounder, Tyler Bosmeny, isalso on the board.) Other investors include Paul Graham (who started YCombinator), Sam Altman (who's now running Y Combinator) and Deborah Quazzo(GSV Advisors).

All told, Clever has raised more than $13.3 million frominvestors. 

And yes, Clever continues to grow wildly:  In just two years, the company has founda home in one out of eight US K-12 schools--about 18,000 of them. It's tightlyfocused on one task: Enabling applications to reach inside of schoolinformation systems (SIS) and grab class rosters and other data so that theapplications can be set up and run by a school in mere minutes.

Schreier says that Sequoia doesn't invest in"sectors" -- it just looks for promising companies and entrepreneurs.Sequoia also has stakes in edtech companies Inkling,Piazza and Mindsnacks.  Says Schreier: Clever is the fastest growing edtech he has ever seen. He expects it will have a long future as an independent company. 

Clever's business model is something that investors swoonover: Clever is free to schools. It sells to the edtech companies that (inturn) sell their applications to schools.

And all that popularity now puts Clever in a surprisinglyinfluential position on a subject increasingly dear to many schools: datasecurity. CEO Bosmeny says that Clever has focusedon security issues from the start, encrypting all of its datacommunications with HTTPS and offering two-factor authentication.It also subjected itself to an outside consultant's security review (and didindeed pass.)

Clever increasingly demands that theapplications it connects into school abide by FERPA, or the FamilyEducational Rights and Privacy Act.  

"We focus on security because it's the right thing to do," says cofounder, Dan Carroll. "But we've also found that the way Clever protects student information has become one of the reasons big districts (like Miami-Dade, LAUSD, and Houston ISD) and big companies (Amplify, NWEA, Google) have been rapidly adopting Clever.

That's one way to get companies on the secure data bandwagon.


Edtech Business

It's Official: Clever Snaps Up $10.3M Investment

Mar 25, 2014

Awkward? LastDecember, news spread that edtech startup, Clever, had raised series A roundfunding from one of Silicon Valley's blue bloods, Sequoia. Anything left tosay?

Now the company is spilling the details: The number is $10.3million. The deal was indeed led by Sequoia and partner Bryan Schreier isjoining the two-man board. (Chief executive and cofounder, Tyler Bosmeny, isalso on the board.) Other investors include Paul Graham (who started YCombinator), Sam Altman (who's now running Y Combinator) and Deborah Quazzo(GSV Advisors).

All told, Clever has raised more than $13.3 million frominvestors. 

And yes, Clever continues to grow wildly:  In just two years, the company has founda home in one out of eight US K-12 schools--about 18,000 of them. It's tightlyfocused on one task: Enabling applications to reach inside of schoolinformation systems (SIS) and grab class rosters and other data so that theapplications can be set up and run by a school in mere minutes.

Schreier says that Sequoia doesn't invest in"sectors" -- it just looks for promising companies and entrepreneurs.Sequoia also has stakes in edtech companies Inkling,Piazza and Mindsnacks.  Says Schreier: Clever is the fastest growing edtech he has ever seen. He expects it will have a long future as an independent company. 

Clever's business model is something that investors swoonover: Clever is free to schools. It sells to the edtech companies that (inturn) sell their applications to schools.

And all that popularity now puts Clever in a surprisinglyinfluential position on a subject increasingly dear to many schools: datasecurity. CEO Bosmeny says that Clever has focusedon security issues from the start, encrypting all of its datacommunications with HTTPS and offering two-factor authentication.It also subjected itself to an outside consultant's security review (and didindeed pass.)

Clever increasingly demands that theapplications it connects into school abide by FERPA, or the FamilyEducational Rights and Privacy Act.  

"We focus on security because it's the right thing to do," says cofounder, Dan Carroll. "But we've also found that the way Clever protects student information has become one of the reasons big districts (like Miami-Dade, LAUSD, and Houston ISD) and big companies (Amplify, NWEA, Google) have been rapidly adopting Clever.

That's one way to get companies on the secure data bandwagon.


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