Partnering with Mercato and Owl will accelerate Kuali's efforts to help colleges and universities solve problems with well-designed, modern, modular software without requiring existing enterprise solution replacement or expensive implementations.
"We've always believed that higher education needs small, modular solutions," said Joel Dehlin, Kuali founder and CEO. "In the last four years, Kuali has created eight new products which have been enthusiastically adopted by the higher ed community. This validates our commitment to providing a smart alternative to the traditional large 'rip and replace' solutions."
Vince Kellen, CIO of the University of California San Diego, affirms that "Kuali's fresh perspective is profoundly needed in this market." His initiative to move UCSD's IT to a best-in-class cloud-based service includes democratizing application development across their organization. "I'm passionate about how technology hits human beings," Kellen said. "Adopting Kuali's approach allows us to enable more people, more business users, to create their own solutions. This increases the capacity of IT while still providing a standard of excellence that connects people with each other through unified practices."
With this new infusion of funding, Kuali will also continue working with their design partners to fast track the completion of new features in their latest offering—Kuali Build. Kuali Build allows institutions to create forms and workflows, lists and processes, groups and hierarchies—securely and reliably—all without a single line of code. This empowers institutions to solve those gaps between larger siloed solutions that, according to Pat Burns, CIO of Colorado State University, are "both chronic and pernicious."
"Kuali has one of the strongest user communities we've ever seen," said Greg Warnock, founder and managing director of Mercato Partners. "This unique asset combined with Kuali's innovation enables them to meet the evolving challenges in the higher education technology market. These strengths combined with Dehlin's vision for the future make Kuali an exciting growth company. We are pleased to help accelerate their efforts and welcome them into our investment family."
"It's been a great year for Kuali," said Amit Patel, managing director of Owl Ventures. "We're excited to continue supporting the company, and we welcome the partnership with Mercato, a seasoned growth equity firm located in Salt Lake City."
Kuali began in 2005 as a non-profit, open-source community initiative for developing higher education administrative systems that provided better long-term alternatives to what was available. In 2014, the Kuali company was created to accelerate software development, improve the user experience, and bring Kuali products to the cloud, while continuing to support open source and expand the user community. Over the past four years, Kuali has grown to almost 100 employees and 184 customers. Kuali's solutions include Kuali Curriculum and Catalog Management, Kuali Financials, Kuali Research, Kuali Ready (business continuity), and Kuali Build (no code application development). Visit www.kuali.co to learn more.
About Mercato Partners
Based in Salt Lake City, Mercato Partners is a growth equity firm built to provide both capital and guidance for rapidly expanding companies in the technology and branded consumer segments. Our experienced team of investors, analysts, and in-house performance operators navigate a sea of opportunities to fund high-growth companies. Based on our experience with the growth stage, we understand the unique challenges and opportunities companies face and we help unlock extraordinary returns through committed collaboration. For more information, please visit www.mercatopartners.com.
About Owl Ventures
Owl Ventures is a Silicon Valley based venture capital fund that invests in the world's leading education technology companies. The firm has invested in 24 companies across the education spectrum encompassing early childhood, K-12, higher education and career mobility/professional learning. Owl leverages its deep domain expertise and takes an active hands-on approach to help entrepreneurs scale their businesses into transformative category-leading companies. The firm was founded in 2014 and has over $600 million in assets under management. Learn more at www.OwlVC.com.