Online College & Career Planning Platform Creator, ConnectEDU, Closes $7M Equity Offering Led By Allen & Co. New Funds Will Fuel Accelerated Growth & Expansion of Regional Service Centers to Support Roll-Out of State-Wide Initiatives, High School, University & Employer Adoption
BOSTON, Nov. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- ConnectEDU, Inc., (www.connectedu.com) the Boston-based leader in developing online college and career planning tools and platforms, today announced that it has successfully closed a $7 million equity offering, as led by Allen & Co., with the support of the company's initial group of investors from the education, private equity and Internet industries.
As part of the funding event, Margaret Spellings, former Secretary of Education under the administration of President George W. Bush, has joined ConnectEDU's Board of Directors along H. Jay Sarles, Operating Advisor to Nautic Partners, LLC and former Vice Chairman of Bank of America.
With this new capital, ConnectEDU plans to leverage the company's extraordinary growth with regional service centers around the country to support the roll-out of state-wide initiatives and continue to serve existing high school, college and employer partners. The company will also continue to invest in the tools that promote the success of each student, and further build partnerships with education decision-makers at colleges, high schools and at the state level.
"We are empowered by our investors' continued commitment to our business, as demonstrated by their on-going financial support of our growth. As we have achieved each milestone, our investors' have continued to fund our efforts to empower students, families and those who serve them in their college and career pursuits," said Craig Powell, Chief Executive Officer, ConnectEDU. "The funds raised today will enable us to meet the growing demand for ConnectEDU to be the standard for states, high schools and colleges committed to the success of their students and those who serve them. ConnectEDU can now accelerate the expansion of its regional service centers across the country. We will also invest further in the growth of CoursEval, our data-driven evaluation and assessment system, as well as SuperAPP, our online college admissions form completion system."
Using $8.2 million in capital previously raised in 2009 during a Series C funding round led by Allen & Co and the same group of individual investors, ConnectEDU has secured a leadership position in the market as a student planning resource focused on high school completion as well as creating a college and/or career plan. To do this, ConnectEDU has developed and implemented technology that has helped thousands of students – typically from the most underserved populations - successfully create high school completion pathways, and manage their post-secondary education plans with the goal of launching a successful career path. All of ConnectEDU's products integrate with the Connect! platform and user community, which allows students, counselors, admission officers, career advisors, academic advisors and employers to interact, advise and purposefully network with students throughout the college and career planning process. ConnectEDU is the only company to fully integrate with high school student information systems to use actual student data to benchmark progress against a high school completion, college and career plan.
In the past year, ConnectEDU has seen rapid growth with high schools adopting the Connect! High School Suite, including SuperAPP, as the standard for facilitating their students' college application submissions. SuperAPP is currently available in hundreds of high schools, including several major urban districts such as Baltimore Public Schools, Detroit Public Schools and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. ConnectEDU also recently inked deals with Miami-Dade School District, as well as the States of Massachusetts, Michigan and Texas to develop statewide college and career planning portals. In the past year, ConnectEDU's network ("The Connect! Community") has grown to include 5 million high school and college aged students, 2,500 high schools, 450 colleges, and nearly 50 employers.
"While ConnectEDU was created to allow student's to plan ahead, learn about their options and begin thinking of the courses they need to take in high school and what curriculum they need to pursue in order to achieve the dream of maximizing their career choice, we are also focused on eliminating the processing hurdles associated with students moving from high school to college by making the college application form completion process informative, fast, secure and efficient for all parties involved," said Craig Powell, Chief Executive Officer, ConnectEDU. "As part of this effort we are also very focused on educating students, counselors and parents on the many scholarships and financial aid options that exist but aren't always easy to find or easy to apply for."
ConnectEDU is poised to debut additional SuperAPP capabilities designed to simplify the process of completing and filing FAFSA and other financial aid forms. The new SuperAPP Financial Aid capability will be available in early 2011, in time for the financial aid season. This application will also help keep students on track to re-apply for financial aid at the right time each year to avoid losing their financial support.
To see what a difference SuperAPP can make within a school district and how students, counselors, admissions officers and policy makers feel about it, please visit http://www.connectedu.com/detroit.html
About ConnectEDU, Inc.: (www.connectedu.com)
ConnectEDU, Inc. is the web-based leader in empowering students to manage their education. The company is devoted to helping students find and enroll in the right college, get a degree, and launch their careers. Created, developed and run by people who have worked in every area of college counseling, admissions, and career development, ConnectEDU uses information technology to connect real students and real data with real colleges, and real career opportunities. We make the college admissions process simpler, more efficient, more reliable and more effective. ConnectEDU's approach gives every student, from every neighborhood across the country, the best opportunity to achieve their dream of a college education and promising career.
SOURCE ConnectEDU, Inc.