Citelighter Takes In Series Seed Funding Amid Relocation
Move Breathes Life Into Business and Brings the Ed-Tech Startup to Charm City
BALTIMORE, Md., February 6, 2014-- Citelighter, the company whose platform helps students more effectively complete research and writing assignments, has announced that it has raised $1.525 million in a Series Seed round of funding. To date, the company has raised a total of $2.5 million.
The round will be used to fund sales and product development from a basic research tool to a full-scale writing platform. It will make the research and writing process measurable for both student and teacher, from the initial stages of gathering evidence all the way through drafting, revising, and final editing.
Investors in the latest round include the New York Angels, Blu Venture Investors, Harvard Business School Angels of New York City, the EdTechFund, and the Baltimore Angels. Some of the individual investors within each group include Frank Bonsal, Jr. (Founder of NEA), Ed Hajim (Diker Management), John Cammack (Cammack Associates), Hugh Evans (3D Systems Ventures), and David Warnock (Camden Partners). The company is also expanding its board, adding Alessandro Piol (Vedanta Capital and AlphaPrime Ventures) and Kevin Hollins (Canal Group and Blu Venture Investors) as directors, and Sacha Levy (New York Angels) and Stephen Dukker (former CEO of nComputing and eMachines) as observers.
Citelighter recently relocated from New York to Baltimore on the heels of a $100,000 bridge investment from TEDCO, a Maryland technology and development fund. The move was meant to take advantage of the state's burgeoning ed-tech ecosystem fueled by passionate teachers, a strong and progressive Teach For America presence, and prominent professionals such as former State Superintendent Nancy Grasmick working on education reform. “You can feel the energy when you speak to the educators who are charging the grassroots movement,” said Saad Alam, CEO and Co-Founder of Citelighter.
“This round of funding will help us provide additional resources to reinforce and build good habits in the classroom,” said Alam in a recent interview. “After speaking with hundreds of teachers we believe that Citelighter’s Teacher Tools and Student Platform fills a large unmet need, and we couldn’t be more excited about launching these tools from our new home in Baltimore.” He added, “we are thrilled to have such a deep bench of investors with experience in every facet of running a business, in addition to those who have built large and successful education companies.”
Since its introduction last year, schools have found numerous uses for Citelighter’s initial offering, an intuitive and easy-to-use fully automated research and citation tool, and it is their feedback and feature requests that are driving the next stage of product development.
Citelighter's offices are located in the Federal Hill neighborhood at 1111 Light St, Baltimore, MD 21230.
Citelighter is a platform that allows users to save, organize, and automatically cite content found online or in the vast repository of Citelighter’s internal database, powered by Questia. Students can take advantage of the intuitive interface that now interacts directly with Google Docs, where they can collaborate and complete writing assignments. Citelighter’s Teacher Tools can be used to track and easily interpret student behaviors, including processes associated with research, organization, and writing. Events are displayed in the form of "Cognitive Prints." This administrative platform allows teachers to utilize quantitative information about student behavior as a means to effectively guide students based on their strengths and weaknesses. Teachers can provide more effective feedback and students can utilize advanced tools to learn critical components of writing.
Citelighter has won 6 national industry awards and being used by students at 2,100 schools.
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