CHOSEN BY THE SHARKS: Brightwheel, developer of a communication tool that connects parents and teachers about their toddler’s school days, nabbed $600,000 from celebrity-investors Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca on a recent Shark Tank episode, aired on April 29. This is the second time fundraise for the San Francisco-based startup, which closed a $2.2 million seed round last June.
Founded in 2014, Brightwheel helps teachers capture classroom photos, send daily reports and notifications to parents, and share notes about students with other teachers. The platform also offers automated electronic billings and payment services
Brightwheel CEO Dave Vasen says that the new investment will help the company to improve its offerings. “We’ve obsessed about the user experience from day 1: how to improve speed, functionality, and ease of use. The investment helps to do even more of that.”
The platform is currently being used in all 50 U.S. states and abroad. For now, all features are free, but Vasen plans to create a freemium version with some
paid features, such as customized dashboards, live 24x7 support and more detailed reports and analytics. “Today we remain focused on the core Brightwheel experience, which will always be free. We will eventually launch a premium version of Brightwheel that will be completely optional for schools, daycares, and after-school programs,” Vasen says.