AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- LivingTree, a K-12 family engagement platform provider, today announced that Dean Drako, founder and former CEO of cybersecurity firm Barracuda Networks, has acquired the company. Drako's multi-million dollar investment will accelerate LivingTree's customer growth and development of its Tiered Social Network®, which provides a secure, community-wide platform for educators and parents to engage – facilitating and improving ongoing communication and student achievement.
"Parent-teacher engagement is vital to student success," said Dean Drako, LivingTree's owner and executive chairman. "LivingTree is the strongest platform I've found to interactively connect teachers with parents in an organized yet secure way. The fact that LivingTree doubled its user base in the past twelve months and continues to onboard new schools each week demonstrates that they are meeting a critical community need."
LivingTree Tiered Social Network Meets U.S. Government Parent Engagement Guidelines
The LivingTree Tiered Social Network enables family engagement regardless of language preference or socio-economic status, and addresses the directives set by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA requires extensive parent-teacher communication including two-way native language conversations with every family. These requirements must be met to receive Federal funds allocated for low-income environments (Title 1).
LivingTree enables school-family engagement in an organized, flexible manner that maps to the relevant view for each community member. The typical LivingTree classroom has 120 interactions per family each month. Standard family / teacher interactions include classroom updates, photos, family questions, and calendar events.
LivingTree has been embraced by schools across the country for its unique ability to connect parents and teachers, helping them achieve more than 4 million online conversations. Lesley Weaver, Irving Independent School District's director of communications, shares that "In Irving ISD, we started out with 13 campuses as early adopters of LivingTree. The feedback we received from parents, principals and teachers has been incredible. It's helped solidify parents' trust in our schools."
Launched in 2012 to bridge the family engagement gap, LivingTree's level of transparency and partnership moves beyond classroom involvement, giving teachers, school, and district administrators the ability to send and receive messages, media alerts, push notifications, event reminders, and volunteer opportunities to parents and students. Users can share photos, documents, files, emails, texts and posts automatically translate into more than 100 languages.
Dean Drako, LivingTree Executive Chairman
Dean Drako is a well known serial entrepreneur with more than five successful ventures; he holds 29 U.S. patents. In additional to being founder and former CEO of Barracuda Networks, he is currently the CEO of cloud video surveillance company Eagle Eye Networks, which provides video surveillance solutions to K-12 schools and districts.
Mr. Drako will use his extensive business, cloud software, and cybersecurity expertise to scale LivingTree and continue to deliver a robust, reliable, and cybersecure solution for school and family engagement.
"We are honored to have a new partner in our mission to transform engagement for administrators, educators, families, and students alike," said Joni Carswell, CEO of LivingTree. Dean has been working with us to enhance our functionality and security, as well as to reach more communities in our mission to positively impact student achievement."
Founded in 2012, LivingTree's mission is to connect the people who raise, develop, and educate our children. LivingTree aims to include every member of the community regardless of preferred language or socio-economic status. LivingTree's Tiered Social Network® empowers leaders, organizations, educators and parents to connect, share, and coordinate up, down and across all levels of their private network to help improve academic achievement. LivingTree has been recognized for this work by the Stevie® Awards for Women in Business as the 2016 Gold Community Involvement Program of the Year and 2016 Silver Smartphone App of the Year. http://www.livingtree.com