PALO ALTO, Calif., Aug. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Educreations, the creators of the Educreations Interactive Whiteboard app, announced today the completion of a $2.2 million Series A financing round from Accel Partners and NewSchools Venture Fund. The financing will enable the company to expand its rapidly growing mobile learning platform and continue pursuing its vision of making personalized learning available to everyone. Educreations was founded by former RockYou product manager Wade Roberts and engineer Chris Streeter.
The company was incubated in ImagineK12, a Silicon Valley-based accelerator program for education technology startups. Angel investors participating in the round include Matthew Greenfield, Tabreez Verjee, and David and Julia Popowitz.
The startup's app transforms the iPad into a recordable, interactive whiteboard that captures voice and handwriting to produce video lessons. Educreations hosts these lessons online, where they can be shared publicly or with a private group. Students and teachers from around the world can replay the video lessons in any web browser, or from within the iPad app. Since launching only six months ago, more than 50,000 teachers have created and shared lessons on the Educreations platform, and it's now being used in over 12,000 schools and in 117 countries.
Two significant trends in the education sector are driving the rapid adoption of Educreations' mobile learning platform: 1) the proliferation of mobile devices, particularly iPads, in K-12 classrooms, and 2) the growing interest among teachers to leverage online video to reach students. During Apple's latest earnings call, CFO Peter Oppenheimer reported that the June quarter was the best ever for iPad sales to educational institutions. This was particularly true in the K-12 market, where iPad sales nearly doubled from a year ago to over 1 million. Notably, sales of the iPad outperformed Macs two to one, indicating a shift in preference from traditional computing to interactive, touch-based learning.
"Educreations enables me to teach my students outside the walls of my classroom and gives me the freedom to spend more time developing hands on learning activities," said Chris Ming, a high school chemistry teacher in Atlanta. "The recorded lessons allow my students to have anytime access to me and the course content and, as a result, student confidence and grades have increased in my chemistry classes."
"There are millions of fantastic teachers in the world, and we want to recognize them and celebrate their work," says Educreations CEO Roberts. "We're aiming to empower teachers by helping them reach and impact students outside the classroom, and to provide every student with access to the best teachers for them."
As part of Educreations' fundraising, Accel's Rich Wong will join the company board. "We're excited to work with Chris and Wade at the confluence of the mobile and edutech markets," said Wong. "The proliferation of tablets and mobile devices over the next 5+ years will change the best practices for teaching, and we believe Educreations will be at the forefront of this wave."
The Educreations founders have been impressed with the creativity and resourcefulness of their user base. "In addition to teachers, lessons have been created by sports coaches, scientists, artists, musicians and others," said Chris Streeter. "We see no limits to the potential offered by this platform."
About Accel Partners
Founded in 1983, Accel Partners has a long history of partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams to build world-class businesses. Accel today invests globally using dedicated teams and market-specific strategies for local geographies, with offices in Palo Alto, New York City, London and Bangalore; as well as in China via its partnership with IDG-Accel. Accel has helped entrepreneurs build over 300 successful companies, many of which have defined their categories, including 99designs, Actuate, AdMob, Agile Software, Alfresco, Angry Birds (Rovio), Atlassian, BBN, Bonobos, Braintree, Brightcove, Cloudera, ComScore, Diapers.com (Quidsi), Dropbox, Etsy, Exclusively.in, Facebook, Flipkart, Fusion-IO, Gameforge, GlamMedia, Groupon, Imperva, Infinera, Interwoven, IronPlanet, JBoss, Kayak, Lookout, Macromedia, metroPCS, MoPub, Myntra, OPOWER, Polycom/PictureTel, Playfish, Portal Software, QlikTech, Rapt, Real Networks, Redback, Responsys, Riverbed, Spotify, Squarespace, Sunrun, Trulia, UUNet, Veritas, Walmart.com, Webroot, Wonga, XenSource and Zimbra. For more information, please visit the Accel Partners web site at www.accel.com find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/accel.
About NewSchools Venture Fund
NewSchools Venture Fund is a not-for-profit organization working to close the achievement gap by funding and supporting entrepreneurs who are creating innovative solutions to the problems in public education so that all children have the opportunity to succeed in college and beyond. Since our founding in 1998, NewSchools has invested $180 million in more than 90 nonprofit and for-profit educational organizations working to promote student achievement. Recognizing that neither private charity nor capital markets alone are enough to solve the problem of education inequality, we blend the best of both approaches to ensure an excellent education is available to every child. We actively share what we've learned through our investments, bring together educational leaders from across the country, and advocate for smart policies at the federal level. Learn more at www.newschools.org.
SOURCE Accel Partners