Uversity has raised an additional $1.2 million from Learn Capital, with the Gates Foundation and Retro Venture Partners also participating. The Gates Foundation and Retro Venture Partners also contributed to funding rounds raised by the company in 2011 and 2012. To date, the San Francisco company (originally called Inigral when it started in 2007), has now raised $11.4 million.
Typically companies like to march down a path of raising larger amounts of funding as they scale. Uversity’s director of marketing called the fresh funds from existing investors a “vote of confidence.” The company has been in transition: originally a mobile student communications platform, it now aims to help universities recruit students.
Uversity currently offers an app that connects college students with peers, alumni, faculty and staff to increase student engagement and retention. In August 2013, the company rebranded and turned its focus on helping universities with student recruitment, a problem that has become a concern for many admissions directors. It also has a tool, UChat, that can be added to a school’s website to allow prospective students to communicate with admissions officers and current students.
“We want to be that connective tissue...for high school and college counselors and students” so potential students can easily learn about the schools that interest them, says Brad Popiolek, the company’s Director of Product. He adds the company is refining predictive modeling technologies that can indicate to schools whether students are likely to apply and, if accepted, enroll, based on the their engagement via the Uversity app and UChat.
Uversity claims users in more than 140 higher-ed institutions.