KA’CHING! US edtech companies raised $59 million in February 2016, according to analysis by EdSurge. The funding was spread across 10 different deals; at least 31 unique investors participated.
Master Class led the way in February funding with its $15 million Series B round. MasterClass’ name gives hint to its products: Online courses taught by famous practitioners of several crafts. Usher teaches performance, Serena Williams gives virtual tennis lessons and Christina Aguilera leads a class on singing. Users pay $90 for the class’ 10-25 video lessons, interactive exercises and workbooks, accessing them by computer, tablet or smartphone.
Other big winners included $10 million in Series A money to Handshake. The San Francisco-based company launched in 2014 and last year grew its partnerships from five to 60 U.S. colleges and universities. Handshake streamlines the job recruitment process for students and employers. Companies build profiles and request to connect with colleges and universities that use the platform. Students log in and share their information (e.g., GPA, year of study, classwork activity) and access personalized career information including company news, career fair details and job postings.
New York City-based Knewton brought in an additional $10 million in funding to round out its $52 million fundraise which was first announced last November. Rounding out the month’s top deals is Ellevation Education, which scored $6.4M in funding from Emerson Collective, Zuckerberg Education Ventures and the Omidyar Network. Founded in 2011, Ellevation offers data, instructional and professional development tools used in more than 450 school districts to help teachers measure and support English language learners.
Venture capital for edtech startups may be tightening this year. The $59 million total for February 2016 represents a 43 percent decrease from January, and a 44 percent dip from February 2015.
Interested in learning more about these and other US and overseas edtech deals? Subscribe today to our monthly Ka’Ching reports, and stay tuned for more edtech funding info in our weekly newsletters.