San Francisco-based startup Brightwheel today acquired MyChild, a Lisbon company making an engagement system for parents and schools.
Last year, Brightwheel raised $2.2 million in seed funding to build a free mobile application for parents to stay updated with their little ones at daycares and classrooms — everything from what they ate at snack time to what number they counted to that day. Investors in that round included Eniac Ventures, RRE Ventures and Sherpa Ventures.
“For us, the acquisition is about further strengthening our leadership in the industry,” says founder and CEO Dave Vasen.
Brightwheel wanted MyChild for the parent communication and student assessment components of the tool, he says.
Brightwheel’s app allows parents and teachers to manage attendance, updates on toddlers throughout the school day and billing. To Vasen, who pitched the company idea on “Shark Tank" earlier this year, the company addresses both a paperwork and people problem.
“[We] started by listening to administrators and teachers and observing their daily workflow,” Vasen tells EdSurge. He adds: “There is an insane amount of paper in this industry — sign-in sheets, daily reports, assessments, and notes to parents. The list goes on, and everyone is just sick of it. It's annoying. It's inefficient, and it's actually expensive.”
Brightwheel launched a pilot in 2015 with 10 schools using the platform, and now it’s grown to some 2,500 schools in every state. The app will remain free, Vasen says, but Brightwheel is testing a premium plan with schools.
“Every day, we hear we hear stories from teachers who have more time with students, parents who are more engaged in their child's day-to-day learning, and business owners who have more control over their school's operations.”
The amount of the deal was not disclosed.