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Engrade Raises $3M to Unify Classroom Management into Single Platform

Santa Monica, CA—May 2, 2012—Engrade, which offers a comprehensive suite of online classroom management tools, announced today that it has closed a $3 million round of funding. The round was led by Rethink Education and joined by NewSchools Venture Fund, as well as individual investors Greg Gunn, Zac Zeitlin, and Richard Chino. The funding will allow Engrade to serve significantly more educators by expanding its academic and outreach teams and strengthening its growing suite of tools.

“I am pleased to announce our funding. We are humbled by the experts in the education industry that have joined us both as team members and as investors, who have some of the most successful track records in the space,” said Zach Posner, CEO at Engrade. “In the past few months we have had the opportunity to work with districts and states around the country and this new round of funding will allow us to continue to build on our platform by adding functionality that has been requested by our administrators, teachers, students and parents.”

Engrade’s online gradebook was initially developed in 2003 by Bri Holt, the company’s Chief Technology Officer, then a high school student, as a solution to increase communication between teachers and students. The gradebook was loved within the teacher community and grew organically. Engrade has added a fully-integrated suite of tools designed to unify the tools, data, assessments and curriculum educators need to enhance instruction for each child.  By providing a more robust communication channel between parents, students and educators, Engrade aims to help maximize each student’s potential.

Engrade currently has 4.5 million users, including more than 400,000 teachers in all 50 states. Engrade counts the New York City Department of Education, KIPP, North Star Academy, and Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools among its diverse user base, demonstrating the flexibility of the Engrade platform.

“The team at Engrade is redesigning education technology from the ground up, starting with a learning management system and now a state-level instructional improvement system with unprecedented power, flexibility, and ease of use,” said Matthew Greenfield of Rethink Education, who has joined Engrade’s board. “This team is an example of the new type of leaders who are starting to think about how to transform the field of education.  In the past we have not seen this level of talent in programming address the needs of our nation’s education system.”

“Engrade pioneered the movement to bring the teacher’s gradebook online.  When classroom data is combined with standardized exam data and online content, we now have the essential tools to effectively personalize instruction,” said Jennifer Carolan of NewSchools Venture Fund.    

About Engrade

Engrade Unifies Education. Engrade integrates people, tools, data, and curriculum in schools on one user-friendly platform.   Engrade was founded in 2003 with a single mission: to help teachers. Beginning with an online gradebook to improve communication and student performance, Engrade has since developed a suite of analytical and collaboration tools for classrooms, schools, and districts. Engrade’s user-friendly and intuitive tools have spread organically, reaching over 400,000 teachers. Engrade has an integration-friendly architecture which enables data from multiple external sources to merge together seamlessly and is accessible via web, mobile, and tablet devices. Learn more www.engrade.com

About Rethink Education

Rethink Education seeks to invest in progressive growth-stage companies that are at the forefront of the education technology industry and have the capacity to make positive impacts on our communities. The fund is lead by a group of experienced investors with previous success in education technology.  Rethink Education’s portfolio consists of companies that have the potential to disrupt K-12, higher education, and lifelong learning. Learn more at www.rteducation.com

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 70 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.

Media contact: Joe Ventura, jventura@newschools.org/415-615-6862