AltSchool Raises $33 Million in Series A Funding to Transform K-8 Education Through a Network of Innovative Micro-Schools
Investment Round Led by Founders Fund and Andreessen Horowitz with Participation from Leading Education-Focused Backers John Doerr and Learn Capital
SAN FRANCISCO, March 18, 2014-- AltSchool, a network of micro-schools that emphasizes personalized learning for children in grades K-8, announced that it has raised $33 million in Series A financing. This funding was led by Founders Fund and Andreessen Horowitz with follow-on investment from First Round Capital and Harrison Metal and participation from John Doerr, Jonathan Sackler, Learn Capital, and Omidyar Network. Following this fundraise, AltSchool has begun the process of becoming a certified B Corp., supporting the company’s mission to create material positive impact on society.
Founder Max Ventilla and AltSchool’s team of accomplished educators, designers, and engineers aim to fundamentally reimagine education, leaving behind the traditional one-size-fits-all model. Guided by the vision that every child should have access to first-rate, personalized education, AltSchool opened its first micro-school in San Francisco in 2013. At least three additional micro-schools are slated to open in the San Francisco Bay Area for the 2014-2015 academic year.
“Improving education is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and yet, less than 1% of education-related expenditures are allocated to the kind of research and development that could bring primary education into the 21st century. It’s not every day that we see top-notch technologists coming together with exceptional teachers to rethink schooling from the ground up. We couldn’t be more thrilled to support AltSchool in its pursuit to accelerate the transformation we are seeing in the education space,” said Brian Singerman, Founders Fund General Partner and the newest member of AltSchool’s Board of Directors.
AltSchool’s micro-schools are small by design, and the team takes a human-centered approach, continually collecting and responding to feedback from teachers, students, and parents. Incorporating best practices in the field of education alongside proprietary technology, AltSchool’s learning tools allow teachers to deliver Personalized Learning Plans. Each plan incorporates student interests and parental priorities to prepare each child with the skills she will need to succeed in an ever-changing world. AltSchool’s individualized approach extends to a whole-child education philosophy -- incorporating core academics as well as higher-level social and emotional skills in order to instill a passion for lifelong learning.
“Creating the school experience that we want for our own children -- and all children -- requires the world-class, long-term, mission-driven investors that we have brought together,” said AltSchool founder Max Ventilla, formerly head of personalization at Google and the co-founder of Aardvark (a search company that Google acquired in 2010). “This investment allows us to advance our mission of giving every child an outstanding education that is custom made for them.”
AltSchool’s network model offers opportunities for continuous innovation and evaluation, centralized support, student initiative, and parental choice. This approach significantly reduces both administrative and non-classroom facilities expenses, resulting in substantially lower costs than traditional schools. As its network grows, AltSchool will deliver further efficiencies, allowing for greater investment in optimal learning experiences for each student.
Determined to reach a broad base of families, AltSchool is committed to using funding and donations to offer tuition assistance toward a need-blind admissions process.
AltSchool is an innovative network of private micro-schools that combines standout teachers, parental guidance, technology, and deep research to offer K-8 students wholly personalized classroom learning. Founded in 2013 by technology entrepreneur and parent Max Ventilla and headquartered in San Francisco, AltSchool is backed by Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, Harrison Metal, John Doerr, Jonathan Sackler, Learn Capital, Omidyar Network, and other leading investors. Following its most recent funding round, AltSchool initiated the process of becoming a certified B Corp., supporting the company’s mission to create material positive impact on society. More information is available at www.altschool.com.
About Founders Fund
Founders Fund is a sector and stage agnostic venture capital firm investing in entrepreneurs that have a unique vision for changing the world. The firm and its partners have been early supporters of some of the most prominent technology companies of the past decade, including Palantir Technologies, SpaceX, Facebook, and Spotify. Founders Fund pursues a founder-friendly investment strategy that provides maximum support with minimum interference. More information can be found at www.foundersfund.com.
About Andreessen Horowitz
Andreessen Horowitz backs bold entrepreneurs who move fast, think big and are committed to building the next major franchises in technology. Founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, the firm provides entrepreneurs with access to deep expertise and insights in innovation, business development, market intelligence, executive and technical talent, and marketing and brand building. Andreessen Horowitz is located in Menlo Park, Calif., and on the Web at www.a16z.com.
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