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Pathbrite lands $3.7 million for digital portfolios for students

Above: Sample portfolios created in Pathbrite.

Image Credit: Pathbrite

Pathbrite makes a tool that students can use to create web-based portfolios showing what they have learned. It seems to be working: More than 500 organizations, the vast majority of which are colleges, use Pathbrite to help their students create e-portfolios.

And now the company has raised a new $3.7 million in capital from Cengage Learning, a Boston-based company that provides educational content, services, and technology.

“In the simplest form, it’s like a really sexy digital resume,” explained Pathbrite spokesperson Deborah Veney. “Until now, a degree and the name of a person’s college have basically served as a proxy for what a person knows and what they can do. Employers are increasingly finding this is not working out so well for them.”

Instead, colleges may purchase a site license for Pathbrite, giving teachers a tool that they can use to map out “learning paths” for students, showing the skills they need to master in order to reach particular goals. As the students complete those goals, their portfolio gets updated, so potential employers can see exactly what they’ve learned.

“By using the right technology, we can create ways for learners to show how their soft skills and practical experiences are aligned to what employers need,” chief executive Heather Hiles said in a statement.

“In a remarkably short time, Pathbrite has become a major player in the edtech industry,” said Rick Segal, chairman of the board at Pathbrite and Managing Partner, ReThink Education, an education technology venture capital fund.

The company started in 2012 and has raised $11.8 million to date. Previous investors include ReThink Education, ACT, Serious Change, and Cengage Learning.

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