News + Ideas
BrightBytes Expands Educational Footprint: Raises $15 Million to Fuel Growth and Innovation
March 12, 2014
Bessemer Venture Partners funds BrightBytes’ rapid talent growth and expansion to international markets
SAN FRANCISCO, March 12, 2014
BrightBytes, a fast-growing educational analytics organization that counts almost 1 in 10 U.S. schools as customers, announced today that it closed $15 million in Series B funding to accelerate its impressive growth and global expansion. The investment was led by Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) with participation from existing investors, including Rethink Education and Learn Capital. Previous funders include NewSchools Venture Fund.
“We’re excited to work with Bessemer Venture Partners,” said Rob Mancabelli, co-founder and CEO of BrightBytes. “BVP has successfully invested in education and SaaS based companies for more than a decade, and their unique perspective will help fuel the expansion of our mission-driven teams, both in the U.S. and abroad. We’re looking forward to making key hires in the areas of engineering, data science, customer acquisition and customer success.”
The BrightBytes team has a track record of successfully tackling a huge challengeblending complex research and disparate data sets into actionable roadmaps for educators. The BrightBytes platform, Clarity, is used by educators in almost all U.S. states to make quick, effective decisions that improve student learning. The organization’s secret sauce is a unique blend of talented educators with deep experience in K-12, gifted engineers building the next generation data platform, and world-class data scientists analyzing ways to improve student- learning outcomes.
BrightBytes educators are among the most knowledgeable educational professionals in the industrya remarkable blend of TedTalk speakers, published authors, and thought leaders. They work with states, districts, and schools around the world to understand the unique needs of each partner, and to drive the learning outcomes of millions of students. “The ability to offer a research-based solution that addresses exactly the needs that I myself had when leading district-level technology and curriculum change has been incredible,” states Kristen Swanson, Edcamp founder, author and BrightBytes Team Leader. “It’s so gratifying to be able to solve the very real problems that our educators face today.”
Likewise, BrightBytes engineers are attacking some of the most interesting data and technology challenges in education. “We use some of the most prominent technologies within our platform, from parallel processing to advanced algorithms that combine research and evidence based practice with data to produce recommendations. If you are an engineer looking to work on interesting challenges, check us out,” says BrightBytes CTO and co-founder Hisham Anwar. The engineering team works closely with the data scientists in BrightBytes Labs to build a state of the art data analytics platform that is device agnostic, extremely scalable, and 100% secure. “The ability to take the vast amount of data that’s available about schools, make sense of it and use it to improve the education of millions of students has been incredibly rewarding,” states Esthena Barlow, Data Scientist and Stanford graduate.
Similarly, BrightBytes’ creative folks are tackling the challenge of transforming data and research into stories that are simple and actionable. The BrightBytes design team, led by Emmy award-winning visual expert, Vanida Vae, loves the challenge of turning complex data into beautiful graphics. “At BrightBytes, I’m often given a blank canvas and can create, design, and imagine hundreds of ways to make data visual, fun, and engaging,” states Vanida.
“Together, the BrightBytes team is changing the way school leaders think about data, and in the process, they are building an organization that will redefine the landscape of K-12 education and the outcomes of millions of school-age children. With thousands of schools already using BrightBytes’s Clarity platform, their technology is clearly resonating with educators and the educational research community,” said BVP partner, Rob Stavis. “We are excited to be investing in a team and organization that has lived these problems first hand and is helping to revolutionize our educational systemand student outcomesfor the better.”
BrightBytes online data analytics platform gathers ideas from the best experts in the world and creates evidence-based frameworks that are combined with data from your school or region, giving you the tools to understand and quickly improve student learning outcomes. Our solutions are specifically designed to address the unique needs of educational leaders globally. Our flagship platform, Clarity, makes data simple, fun and actionable. More information about BrightBytes can be found at www.BrightBytes.net.
About Bessemer Venture Partners
Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) invests in early-stage, hyper-growth startups, partnering closely with entrepreneurs to build durable businesses. BVP is a global firm with offices in Menlo Park, Cambridge, New York, Mumbai, Bangalore, Herzliya and Sao Paolo. With $4 billion under management, BVP invests anywhere from $100,000 to $75 million in innovative companies like LinkedIn, Yelp, Skype, CornerstoneOnDemand, Pinterest, 2U and Knewton. Over 100 BVP companies have gone public. Learn more at bvp.com and follow us on Twitter @BessemerVP.
Marketing Director, BrightBytes