San Francisco-based education company NoRedInk has secured $6 million in Series A funding. True Ventures led the round with participation from The Social+Capital Partnership, Kapor Capital and ReThink Education. In addition to the financing, Jon Callaghan of True Ventures has been added to NoRedInk’s board of directors.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Feb 18, 2015 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — NoRedInk, the education company that helps students learn grammar and writing skills using their personal interests, announced today that it has received $6 million in a Series A investment round led by True Ventures with participation from The Social+Capital Partnership, Kapor Capital, and ReThink Education. As the lead investor in this round, True Ventures Partner Jon Callaghan will join NoRedInk’s Board of Directors.
“We love how NoRedInk is redefining the way millions of students learn to write by connecting the fundamentals of language to the interests of young learners,” says Callaghan. “The site’s growth is a testament to the team’s relentless focus on building tools that help educators better reach their students.”
Created by CEO Jeff Scheur while he taught high school English in Chicago, NoRedInk generates sentences for students to manipulate and edit as they master difficult concepts in grammar, usage, mechanics, and style. The learning engine adapts to their strengths and weaknesses with tutorials and unlimited practice, then aggregates the data to help teachers make instructional decisions.
“Because multiple choice tests aren’t a great way to learn, we’re focused on building authentic, personalized curriculum that inspires kids to think creatively and help them write better,” says Scheur. “Teachers spend a tremendous amount of time grading papers, and yet students are rarely able to use the feedback because they’re discouraged by all the red ink without a clear path to getting better. We’re trying to change that.”
NoRedInk’s free product has been a viral sensation, spreading rapidly to millions of students and teachers in U.S. classrooms. Students have answered more than 200 million questions on the site, and the company expects usage to accelerate as it releases additional content and features.
Five months ago, the company released NoRedInk Premium, which offers double the curriculum, a more robust scope and sequence, and a rich set of reporting tools that help schools and districts leverage data to improve student outcomes. Over 100 schools and districts are already paying for the service. “We’re tremendously excited to see so many districts using our data to measure performance and drive improvement,” says Scheur.
Part of NoRedInk’s success can be attributed to the importance of grammar and writing to the Common Core and to standardized tests. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 73% of students in the U.S. are below “proficient” in writing. On both the ACT and SAT, students have scored lower in grammar and writing than on any other section — for nearly a decade.
NoRedInk will use the additional funding to increase hiring and continue building authentic, innovative tools that help students become skilled, creative, and confident writers.
More information about NoRedInk can be found at www.noredink.com.
NoRedInk helps students learn grammar and writing skills with curriculum generated from their interests and an adaptive learning engine that caters to their strengths and weaknesses. Based in San Francisco, NoRedInk was founded in 2012 by Jeff Scheur, a National Board Certified English teacher who had graded over 15,000 papers and wanted to leverage technology to help his students become strong, confident writers. To learn more about NoRedInk, visit www.noredink.com.
About True Ventures
Founded in 2005, True Ventures is a Silicon Valley–based venture capital firm that invests in early- stage technology startups. With four funds and approximately $900 million in capital under management, True provides seed and Series A funding to the most talented entrepreneurs in today’s fastest growing markets. With a mission to make the world a better place for entrepreneurs, True encourages each founder’s vision and has built resources to empower the employees, families and communities of its portfolio companies. The firm maintains a strong founder community and offers innovative educational opportunities to its portfolio, helping entrepreneurs achieve higher levels of success and impact. With more than 150 companies funded and multiple companies acquired, the current True portfolio has helped create over 3,500 jobs. To learn more about True Ventures, visit www.trueventures.com.