FreshGrade announced today it has secured $4.3 million in seed funding from leading education and venture capital firms: NewSchools Venture Fund, Emerson Collective, Accel Partners and Social Capital. Designed by world-class developers in collaboration with teachers and parents, FreshGrade is an education resource for administrators, teachers, and parents allowing for maximum classroom engagement and real-time assessment by mirroring how people communicate and use technology today.
This Fall the Surrey School District, the largest school district in British Columbia and one of the largest in Canada, will implement FreshGrade as its standard reporting tool for the 2014-2015 school year.
"FreshGrade has done something unique in the edtech marketplace – they have built a single platform to align parents, students and teachers around a child's learning goals," said Jennifer Carolan, Managing Director, Seed Fund at NewSchools Venture Fund. "FreshGrade is rethinking assessment and communication in a way that takes advantage of the latest technologies to enrich how we support each child. We are thrilled to back this exceptional team."
"Emerson Collective seeks out visionaries who provide fresh solutions to age-old issues," said Brad Powell, Managing Director, Investments at Emerson Collective. "FreshGrade is doing just that by developing an education resource that encourages proactive engagement between teachers and parents. We know a high quality education requires a partnership between families and schools, and FreshGrade makes that partnership even stronger."
Founded in 2011, FreshGrade has undergone a rigorous development and testing progress as the founders seek to build a comprehensive, reliable and valuable resource for parents and educators.
"FreshGrade is designed to provide richer reporting and communication capabilities while cutting down on the amount of time required from teachers and administrators," said FreshGrade Co-Founder Steve Wandler. "Ultimately our vision is to be able to streamline lesson planning and assessment and allow administrators and teachers to spend more time working with students and communicating with parents."
"At the end of the day FreshGrade is about students, and how we can optimize the educational journey," said Lane Merrifield, FreshGrade Co-Founder who was one of the founders of social gaming platform Club Penguin. "My experience with Club Penguin showed me that a deeper understanding of how children are engaged with content, whether it is an online game or classroom material, can lead to more positive and rewarding growth for children."
Jordan Tinney, Superintendent of Schools & CEO, Surrey School District has reported that the feedback received so far regarding FreshGrade's ease of use and effectiveness is resoundingly positive. "Our teachers and administrators alike are reporting that our transition to using FreshGrade has been seamless," he said. "There is considerable excitement about the potential of this resource and how it can assist students and parents in better understanding and promoting learning and success."
FreshGrade was founded in 2011 by Lane Merrifield, Steve Wandler and Mark Payne, and is headquartered in Kelowna, British Columbia. Designed by world-class developers in collaboration with teachers and parents, FreshGrade is an education resource for teachers, parents and administrators that mirrors how people communicate and use technology today, opening a window into the classroom to ensure maximum student engagement and progress. Ultimately, FreshGrade's vision is to be able to curate educational content and resources for teachers that will streamline lesson planning and assessment and allow for more time spent working with students and communicating with parents. FreshGrade was named among edSurge's Top S'Cool Tools for Q2 2014 in June 2014. Learn more at www.freshgrade.com or follow FreshGrade on Twitter at @FreshGrade.
About NewSchools Venture Fund
NewSchools is committed to transforming public education through powerful ideas and passionate entrepreneurs so that all children — especially those in underserved communities — have the opportunity to succeed. Learn more at www.newschools.org.
About Emerson Collective
Emerson Collective supports social entrepreneurs and organizations working in the areas of education, immigration reform, social justice and conservation. By connecting talent to opportunity, and partnering with organizations, empowering individuals and advocating for fair and equitable social policies, Emerson Collective works to accelerate lasting change that will benefit us all. Learn more at www.emersoncollective.com.
About Accel Partners
Accel Partners has been committed to helping exceptional entrepreneurs build lasting, category-defining technology companies since 1983. Utilizing a focused, "prepared mind" approach to investing, we partner with businesses that show potential for significant long-term success in specific sectors. Emphasizing synergy in our portfolio enables us to offer the advantages of a cohesive, cooperative Accel community, including access to an extensive network of past and present entrepreneurs. We know there is no one-size-fits-all approach to building a lasting company. As trusted peer, partner and confidant, we encourage our entrepreneurs to decide what their unique business requires to succeed. We help realize your vision with personalized, thoughtful and expeditious support. Learn more at www.accel.com.
About The Social+Capital Partnership
The Social+Capital Partnership ("Social Capital") is a partnership of philanthropists, technologists and capitalists utilizing venture capital as a force to create value and change on a global scale. The Partnership is based in Palo Alto, California. Website: s23p.com.