San Mateo, CA-based Edmodo has raised $30 million in a Series D round led by Index Ventures; Japanese telecom company, KDDI, also chipped in from its KDDI Open Innovation Fund. Edmodo, which currently has 117 employees, has now raised $87 million according to Xconomy.
Index Ventures shared the reasons behind leading the round in a blog post:
There are many characteristics of successful start-ups. But at the core, there are three models that we love the most: businesses that are marketplaces, businesses with network effect and businesses that become platforms for an ecosystem. In Edmodo, we see an opportunity for all three of these models in a sector that has fundamentally been a technology laggard.
The startup, which began in 2008 by providing a free social network for educators, has since expanded its offerings for its 36 million teachers and students across over 220,000 schools. Its marketplace, which allows third-party developers to make their tools available on the Edmodo platform, boasts over 600 apps. The company also recently unveiled its Snapshoot tool, which allows teachers to create quizzes and get instant results from students.
Edmodo is often a case study for edtech startups that enjoyed "viral" growth while making its platform free for users. The company has recently made some of its pricing plans publicly available: It charges $7500 for a six-week online professional development course (for up to 25 teachers); a one-day in-person PD training costs $2,500. Snapshot costs anywhere from $1275 to $2000 per school, per year.
Edmodo recently concluded its annual online user conference, which saw over 42,000 attendees from 172 countries this year. Here's our live blog of the EdmodoCon 2014.