NEW YORK, Nov. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Amidst a wave of new research underlining the connections between school attendance and student success, Kinvolved, the leader in software and services proven to reduce chronic absenteeism and boost daily attendance, today announced it has secured $1.54M in funding through a Seed II investment round.
Kinvolved raised funds from notable organizations and angel investors, and their investments will help Kinvolved build on its success supporting school districts in their efforts to get all children to school each day.
The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation (DRK)—a global venture philanthropy firm supporting early-stage, high-impact social enterprises—led the fundraising round, and its managing director, Stephanie Khurana, sits on Kinvolved's board of directors.
"DRK invests in high impact social enterprises that solve real-life problems in targeted, innovative ways," says Khurana. "The Kinvolved team has demonstrated a commitment to eradicating chronic absenteeism through a systems level approach and meaningful engagement to support students. We're excited to support their efforts to expand into new communities."
Also included in the round is the Twilio.org Impact Fund, which invests in social enterprises that use innovative communications strategies and demonstrate the potential to scale. The organization recently announced it had met its goal of powering one billion messages for good five years early, and referenced its impact investment in Kinvolved as part of its efforts to help reach one billion people each year.
Erin Reilly, VP of Social Impact and GM of Twilio.org, shares that, "when it comes to education, it can be hard to bridge communication gaps among school staff, students, and families; these missed connections can sometimes have dire consequences for kids. By leveraging communications technologies, Kinvolved offers simple, intuitive tools that break down barriers. We are excited to welcome Kinvolved into the Impact Fund family."
Other investors include:
- New York Ventures, the venture capital investment arm of Empire State Development, which will also serve as a board observer.
- Excell Technology Ventures, a venture capital fund that invests in seed and early-stage technology startups in New York State. Excell also holds a seat on Kinvolved's board of directors.
- GingerBread Capital, a venture capital fund founded by Linnea Roberts that invests in women founders and entrepreneurs, and helps women-led business access the resources they need to scale successful enterprises.
- u2i, a software development firm that builds tight, passionate, agile software development teams to help startups and growing businesses achieve success. u2i has been Kinvolved's technology partner since 2015.
"These investments represent an alignment between these organizations' missions and Kinvolved's commitment to achieving educational equity by engaging educators, families, and communities in the effort to get every child to every class, every day," says Miriam Altman, co-founder and CEO of Kinvolved.
Kinvolved will use the funds to support sales growth, deepen product research and development, and expand its client services offerings. The organization's 2016–17 Impact Report quantified the effects of the organization's software and services on school systems:
- Attendance rates increase: Kinvolved partner high schools saw a 13x increase in average daily attendance.
- Chronic absenteeism drops: Schools using KiNVO—Kinvolved's attendance and communications platform—saw a –3% change in chronic absence rates.
Data from its 2017–2018 impact study show impressive first-year gains, and Kinvolved will release those findings in its forthcoming impact report.
"We develop software and services that strengthen the bonds between and among students' support systems, and that raise awareness of attendance issues before they become unmanageable," says Kinvolved co-founder and Chief Product Officer Alexandra Meis. "Those are the most powerful levers we can pull to improve student achievement and offer all students an equitable chance at a high-quality education."
Kinvolved is a social enterprise on a mission to increase student achievement by minimizing absenteeism. Our holistic approach combines technology tools and human interventions to change the deeply ingrained behaviors and external factors affecting student attendance and chronic absence, including poverty, racism, and socio-economic exclusion. Learn more at www.kinvolved.com.
Jillian Lubow, Strategic Communications