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Clever grows 9x in a little over a year
Tracking a couple thousand students in your school can be a pretty daunting task, which is why it was surprising for former school IT director Dan Carroll to learn that there is no standardized software for updating and managing K-12 student data. So Carroll and Harvard classmates Rafael Garcia and Tyler Bosmeny co-founded Clever, a platform that easily integrates with any K-12 school’s Student Information System.
The company announced Tuesday that it’s raised $10.3 million in a Series A round led by Sequoia Capital, with help from Y Combinator founder Paul Graham, Y Combinator President Sam Altman and Deborah Quazzo of GSV Advisors. As part of the round, Sequoia Capital Partner Bryan Schreier will join Clever’s Board of Directors.
The company plans to use the new funds from this round to ramp up hiring and manage growth. The company previously raised $3 million in seed funding at the end of 2012. At that time, Clever was being used in some 2,000 schools. Today it’s being used in over 18,000 schools to keep track of some 7.5 million students. Nine of the nation’s 12 largest school districts are using Clever.
When students switch schools, their information is supposed to follow them, but that process normally takes several weeks. Clever allows schools to integrate the platform with their own Student Information System so that they can quickly and easily keep track of all incoming and outgoing students and their data. The startup isn’t aiming low. When asked about Clever’s plans, CEO and co-founder Tyler Bosmeny’s answer was straight-forward and far-reaching: “building a ubiquitous platform for the entire industry.”
"Clever is the fastest growing and most beloved edtech company we've met," said Sequoia Capital’s Bryan Schreier, in a statement. "Tyler and team have developed the technology that is enabling the next generation of learning."
All three Clever founders were recently named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. The startup is also supported by more than 100 education developers, including Amplify, Imagine Learning and Google.
“The promise of digital learning is well known, but the challenges behind the scenes have greatly inhibited its adoption,” said Tyler Bosmeny, in a statement. “With Clever, we tried to reimagine the entire process schools go through implementing and managing their learning software. Now, we’ll be extending our platform to the classroom to more dramatically improve the way students and teachers can benefit from digital learning.”
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